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Monday, May 20, 2013

On living broken…

Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (KJ21)

before something else breaks,
I’m throwing up my hands to yield.
 Not only am I not fighting,
I’m also not playing the victim.
I will praise while I wait,
and trust more deliberately
Amanda, writing at hill+pen left words on the screen, saying something this broken vessel desperately needed. I have made peace with brokenness, understanding that embracing it gives me permission to be free, honest, to look at the scariest things, go to the deepest places, to  trust, to grow. To learn, but not to heal. I never want to be unbroken. Not ever. My brokenness keeps me close to the Throne, hiding under the shelter of His Wings, as it is He Who alone holds me together. My brokenness (and my buddy) remind me that I am nothing without shelter.

Despite my having made my peace, my brokenness occasionally leaves me more weary than hopeful. So to read…
“Dreams are for the broken. For those who hold their arms out wide and say Lord, I can’t bear it any longer. Help me find a way, with the talents you’ve entrusted to me, to serve. To find joy.
To laugh. "
gave me hope when I thought I was all out.  I needed some hope. You see,  God gave me vision of walking out of my wilderness, but for now,  I'm still here. 

I’m here but He does not leave me beyond the reach of His Grace. Every day He whisper some reminder of His Love, His Faithfulness, my brokenness and His Promises.  All day today. One of my sweet dreaming sisters Amber wrote this, and I was certain it was for me…
“Watching those who tread a deep valley without losing faith, no matter how long the journey, is beautiful.
Lord, I read the words, I received the lesson, “never give up.” I’m trying.

I’ve needed this lesson before, in Paul’s words, long before I’d realized the wilderness is where I was and I needed to make my way, By Grace, out. In Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians there is the kind of encouragement I'd want in the trenches. Rejoice (all the time, because there's always a blessing in there…) Pray (all the time, because there is always a blessing for which we should be deeply grateful). In everything give thanks (see the previous sentence). Quench not the Spirit (because who wouldn't want a deeper immersion in the Holy Spirit?)  Hold it, I think this is where I need to stay…Quench not the Spirit.

So what have I not been doing? I did a little research on the ways we might “quench the Spirit” because on its face, it doesn’t seem to make much sense. One preacher wrote that quenching the spirit occurs when we resist His ministry to us by failing to yield to God (ouch), saying no when He calls us (yikes), attempting to direct ourselves instead of being obedient (eek!) Just last week I confessed that I’d gotten too wrapped up in trying to handle it all and now I’m here. 

So before something else breaks, I’m throwing up my hands to yield. Not only am I not fighting, I’m also not playing the victim. I  will praising while I wait,  I’m trusting more deliberately that He will “Help me find a way, with the talents …entrusted to me, to serve. To find joy. To laugh. " Thank you, Amanda. Thank You Lord.

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