Archive for February, 2012
My friend was sharing with us about how she got to hear author, Ian Cron, speak about Christ. One of the topics he talked about was the fact that whatever we are feeling, we are feeling it in Christ. For example: We are alone in Alone. small “a” inside of big “A”. This has inspired the following. I hope you enjoy.
alone in Alone
best in Best
child in Child
dreamer in Dreamer
enthusiasm in Enthusiasm
free in Free
goodness in Goodness
healing in Healing
insight in Insight
joy in Joy
known in Known
love in Love
mentioned in Mentioned
named in Named
open in Open
precious in Precious
quiet in Quiet
remedy in Remedy
sacred in Sacred
true in True
unshakable in Unshakable
vulnerable in Vulnerable
worthy in Worthy
x-rayed in X-rayed
yearning in Yearning
zealous in Zealous
All these victims
Stand in line for
The crumbs that fall from the table
Just enough to get by
All the while
Wake on up from your slumber
Baby, open up your eyes
Wake on up from your slumber
Baby, open up your eyes
I have a confession. I can go out for an amazing evening and come home and be asleep in mere minutes. Some call it a gift. I’m definitely thankful for it. As most people need an hour or so to settle down before even thinking of trying to sleep, I am the opposite. I can fall asleep but it is after rest has happened that my mind will wake up and be buzzing with all of the activity from the previous evening. Such is the case this morning.
NeedtoBreathe is easily my favorite concert. Easily. I don’t know what it about this RocknRoll band from South Carolina, but they bring.it. every.time. And it’s not with too many flashing lights or dancers or other distractions, it’s simply their love of music that they share with the audience. Don’t get me wrong, they are amazing performers but that’s because music a passion.
As they sang the lyric above, I remembered last summer. I had a friend tell me that for too long I had been accepting crumbs from Christ’s table and that Christ was waiting to give me more. He wanted to give me more of Himself. And as the lyric was sang my heart nearly exploded from my chest because I know I’m waking up from this slumber. My eyes are opening. I used to eat crumbs and think I was full. But as Christ lifts my head and shifts my focus I realize there is so much more that I never imagined was for the taking.
Obviously NeedtoBreathe did not write this song just for me. It is written for you too. Stop standing in line for crumbs. Wake up! There is more for you. And I’m not talking prosperity, because this ‘more than’ crumbs may not come in the form of money or fame or success. It comes when you realize you are more satisfied with little but you have much of Christ. It comes when you know your true identity and walk in it confidently. It comes when you behold this living Christ and realize He is beholding you, too.
These are the thoughts that run through my head in the morning after an amazing evening. And they are worth waking up from my slumber. It’s worth opening my eyes.
Unchangeable. Unshakeable. Unstoppable. That’s what You are
That’s how the song goes. And He is. He is unchanging and the Word testifies to this time and time and time again.
I was sitting with some friends last night and we were talking of Christ. How we had seen him throughout our week and I noticed something. I noticed we were using every day objects like music, mountains, waves, movies and weather systems to describe this Christ. It reminded me when He would share about Himself through wheat, lost coins and bread. He truly is in all and in all!
As I woke this morning I could not get the imagery out of my head of the water being thrown against a rock. The rock doesn’t move but the water does. The rock is unchangeable, unshakeable, unmoveable.
For us who are in Christ. We are in this rock. Even when the waves of life hit it.
The rock doesn’t move. The waves do the moving.
Last week was not so fun. There were a lot of ups and a lot of downs. This week I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day with a great friend instead of a man. Again. Although I’m beyond-words grateful for the wonderful friendships in my life, it’d be nice to have a man.
I was avoiding writing in my off-line journal about men because I’ve filled journal upon journal upon journal of the woes of a single person and the ebbs and flows of single life. It’s never fun to write the same things over and over again. But I also learn to accept and deal with my feelings, no matter how frustrating they are.
So there I was, in a coffee shop, writing about how my deepest desires for a man, a home, and a family continue to be just out of reach. I think I’m getting close and then it slowly slips away and I find myself wondering what I could have done differently to make it stick.
A man, a home, a family. Those are my desires. And no matter how I try to dress them up or avoid them or pour myself into the other passions I have, it always comes back here. And I get frustrated. It seems like a Jr. High struggle not a 30-something struggle. I keep asking myself, shouldn’t I just be over ‘it’ by now? Even thought it’s true that I continue to have fewer and fewer bad single days, they do slip in every now and again. They never quite go away. They can only be ignored for so long.
So when I saw it in print: a man, a home, a family. Christ revealed something to me. These deep set desires are echo’s of His desires. They are the same thing He longs for. He longs for a wife, a bride. He longs for a home–a house where He is welcome. He longs for a family, one who expresses Himself.
These desires are not meant to be diminished with time. They are to be fulfilled. And in Him they are. And should there be a day when I get to see these desires flushed out this side of eternity, then I will be fully confident that the fulfillment are echos of the fulfillment He has found in the Body of Christ on earth. The fulfillment of those who gather to express Him and make Him great apart from programs, hierarchy, and theology.
Fulfillment of love. A man. A bride. A home. A family. Echos of Christ on this side of eternity.
My mom tells this great story about me. We used to walk to the grocery store and get lunch every day. Soup was one of our favorites. She and I would eat vegetable while my dad would eat chicken-noodle. One day I finally noticed he was not eating vegetable, apparently he did not like it. From that day on, I would not eat vegetable. I no longer liked it. I still don’t like it.
What changed? My father was not eating it, neither was I.
Fast forward to my teenage years when my dad and I did not see much of each other. Every now and again my mother would give this exasperated sigh and say “You’re just like your father.” I thought is was strange thing to say as I was just remaking my bed so I could go to sleep. I did not know my father used to do the same thing.
When I stop to think about this, I understand it is a shadow of something deeper. As I begin to live from the life that is Christ, I understand I’m just like my Father. As a daughter, beloved by the King, He imparts His life to me and I am no longer alive to myself. I am dead. He is the life I live. As such, the natural identity I have is His. I have these characteristics of the Father. I can do all things through Him. I have compassion, love, joy, peace, patience, etc. These things are not me, they are Christ.
Like Father, like daughter.
It was theology class. All the guys were discussing if they were trichotomous or dichotomous. If they consisted of body and spirit or body, soul, and spirit. I remember being b.o.r.e.d. I did not see how it fit into the grand scheme of the Gospel. I did not see how it fit into the Person of Jesus Christ. My life was not going to be different if I chose one over the other.
But I’ve been learning…
Today, almost 12 years later, I believe we are body, soul and spirit. Soul being our mind, emotions and will. Spirit being our conscience, intuition and communion. And I believe, up until recently, I am more likely to focus on my soul than my spirit. I let myself be led by my mind, my emotions and my will rather than by my spirit. Even though in Christ, this spirit is one with His Spirit and all of His fullness has made its home in me.
There is subtle but huge difference between soul and spirit. But don’t start trying to figure out if you are living out of your soul or out of your spirit, you will miss the point entirely because you are still focused on you. You are not the focus, Christ is. In Hebrews 4:12 it says that the Word of God (Christ) is living and active and able to separate soul and spirit. Christ separates. We rest in Him.
In my life the more I seek to express Christ in everydayness, the more I live from my spirit without even trying.
So that’s the back story. All of that to say, I woke up yesterday with a thought running through my head. You can find it in Psalm 23. It’s simple
He restores my soul…
His heartbeat is always restoration. I see it in marriages, I see it in my relationship with my father and I see it in who I am becoming. The more I focus on Christ, the more me I become. The more I die to things I want, the more He resurrects them and makes better. He brings back who I thought I was, to who I actually am–in Him. He brings back who He created before the foundations of the world, before the desire for knowledge over Life infected us and who I always have been. He restores my mind, my will, and my emotions. Because my soul serves my spirit. And living out of this spirit life is so.much.more. than I ever anticipated.