Posts Tagged With: Christianity
The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here but the truth is that I’ve been going through a process of breaking, and I’ve needed to take the time to experience it. It’s hard. Many times I’m emotionally incontinent and prone to tears.
Truth be told, there is much that is either cracking, been broken already, or has been divinely taken away.
As it turns out, my new job is anything but a good or easy fit. From the moment I walk through the door to the time I leave, it’s a constant barrage of demands from either the corporate leadership or from frustrated residents. So far I’ve dealt with multiple threats of lawsuits from residents over petty issues (everyone seems to have a lawyer), evictions and then helping the residents prevent evictions, and a multitude of complaints about noisy yet necessary deferred maintenance construction. It seems there’s very little time to breathe or even get my real work done. I also found out through our open enrollment that we cannot afford the cost of the benefits through work. And then last week Caity and I found out that our main commuter car will need to go to that junkyard in the sky. And at times I have to ask myself “why”? What could possibly be the good, divine purpose to spiral my wife and me into what appears to be more pain and loss?
It seems that everything about our circumstances right now are designed to break us entirely. And it’s working…but not in the way toward depression, only in the way toward dependence. Dependence upon God.
Just like human relationships, crises and brokenness can either drive people apart or bind them even closer together. The trick of it all, however, is that the choice belongs to the people involved. When Caity and I have found ourselves broken before each other, we draw close and give comfort to the other. The same is true of a relationship with God. If we truly desire awesome intimacy with the Creator and Savior, then we must be willing to be shattered and surrender to the process of being broken. It’s painful and necessary, and ultimately it’s our own choice to allow it to foster intimacy; to learn how to depend whole heartedly with every feature of our being upon the King of the Universe.
Another dirty little secret of the sanctified life is that brokenness will continue to happen throughout in big and little ways. It is because our broken pieces are gathered together and mortared one upon the other with God’s grace until a firm foundation of a sanctification emerges. We must surrender to this uneasy and painful process in order that everything that we are and everything we have will be transformed into the best that we can become. It’s not the circumstances that matter so much to God, but our heart conditions. God can change circumstances with the flip of coin, but our hearts will only change when we surrender everything we hold on to so tightly.
I’ve decided that I will not fight my breaking process. I will accept it…with joy…in the knowledge that God is bringing me into a deeper level of intimacy. He desires Oneness, and now so do I. Perhaps He may find some use for me yet.
If you are currently being broken, it’s alright to cry out in pain. I would also encourage you to accept it as an honor, for you have been chosen to be brought deeper into relationship with the King of the Universe.
SOLI DEO GLORIA!
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~Psalm 46:10
How often do we take the time to “be still”–physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually? This idea today is as foreign to the average man or woman as would be the idea of living on Mars.
We live in a culture with the just do it mentality. Keep busy. Perform well. Look good. Make sales. Be professional. Attain success. And ultimately when we become overwhelmed by all of these things, to where do we escape? Television. Video games. Shopping. Disconnecting in our relationships. Yet there never seems to be enough time in the day to take one minute and just be: just breathe and remain still.
Caity and I have been learning (over this last summer) how to exercise the art of stillness and the act of resting. In other words, we’ve been learning how to just be. Just be silent. Just be calm. Just be alive. We fill these moments with prayer and connection with each other and with God. We learn how to be in each others’ presence without needing to fill the silence with words. It’s a form of meditation where instead of trying to disconnect from ourselves, we instead submit our individuality before the feet of the Creator in silence.
I knew that taking time to be still would help to relieve stress and usher in calm, but I was unprepared for what would happen next: hearing God’s voice. It seemed like all of a sudden I would hear a clear message in my head, or gather something profound from a passage of scripture I’d read several times before, or hear a message on the radio or snippet of passing conversation that would change everything and lend a fresh perspective. Every time I turned around, God was saying something new to reassure me of His presence and that He was gathering Caity and I under His will; enacting a divine plan.
And before I knew it, I had stopped the wild flailing and ceased fighting against the current, trying to just do it on my own. I am learning how to just be still, listen to His voice, and be ready to participate when the divine opportunity arises. I am no longer on my own. I am in a partnership with the Creator of the universe.
What do you think would happen if you took 15 minutes out from your day to simply be still and sit in silence with no obstacles between you and God? I encourage you to give it a try…and see what happens.
SED EGO DIGREDIENDUM
My hands do long to bless the lost with hope,
My pen does long to soar long the pages,
I stand, I run and stumble down the slope,
Will my work be unreached through the ages?
Are my efforts feasting last on Maundy?
My work be shattered on the Corner Stone,
Eli, Eli lama sabacthani?
Oh Father, raise my light that once had shone.
God of mercy, bless this shadowed spirit;
My God of grace, descend and make me whole.
I am humbled, grant to me Your merit;
Creative work does much to joy my soul.
My spirit is broken beyond my pen,
Oh Lord, when will this purgatory end?
Originally written sometime in March 2009 as a prayer sonnet. I was obviously struggling with feelings of inadequacy regarding my writing and any lack of progress thereof. Funny enough, this prayer has indeed been answered line for line (although not in any way I would have wanted or imagined at the time).