Counsel for your season in the tomb.

21 02 2016

feel buriedWhen God has asked you to surrender to His will, and when you have sacrificed at the foot of the cross, you will come to places on the trail where you feel buried. Perhaps you there now.

Burial experiences are opportunities to draw near to Jesus and abide with Him in a way that only the Spirit can show you. You may be sad as a direct result of that which you sacrificed at the cross. In that case, your sadness is a natural and good outcome of that which pleases God. Try to see it from that perspective. You have had to give up something you cherished, and now you feel the sadness of loss.

You did not invent your emotions. God made you an emotional being when He formed you in your mother’s womb. Just as it is healthy for you to care for your body, it is healthy for you to acknowledge your God-given emotions. Grieve your losses. Articulate your frustrations to yourself, to close friends, and to God. Recognize and feel your anger, loneliness, impatience, and discouragement.

If you sacrificed something that was not pleasing to God but was very gratifying to you, there may be a strong pull to “uncrucify” it. You may need to reinforce the sacrifice for awhile. Bury what is dead, and keep it buried. Enlist friends to help you. Fill your time and life with other wholesome things. Ask God to draw you back into His Word, even though you may not feel up to it. Pray for God to confirm the sacrifice you have made. Keep praying your “nevertheless” prayer. Reiterate “into your hands I commit my spirit” – again.

I believe God uses delay in every disciple. We in the West need this because we are generally in a hurry. Rather than resist delay, try to enter into it as a time to intentionally experience abiding in Christ. Take time away to be with Jesus in solitude. Sit with Him in silence, mull over His words, enter into His experience in the tomb. Place yourself in stories where He came alongside people to sit with them, to touch them, or to cry with them. Prayerfully ask Him to show you how He wants to dwell more closely with you in this special time.

Resist the temptation to compare your experience with others. This is your unique journey. Your feelings of grief and loss will not be the same as others. You don’t know what others are experiencing privately.

This is not a time to accomplish very much, or even to learn a lot. Be still. Be present where you are. The Spirit of God will bring to mind what you need to consider. You don’t need to work hard in burial. Don’t squirm. Stay. Abide.


Mary’s Song

16 11 2015

The oil lamp flickered well into the night. Martha and Lazarus were asleep, and the house was quiet as Mary took up her stylus and poured out her thoughts to the Lord. What flowed onto the page was a conversation that set her free…

O Lord, it greatly heartens me to think upon your words, for you told me you enjoyed my presence more than noble works. But I must tell you honestly, I find it very hard to know I’ve really chosen what you call “the better part.”
I envy the accomplishments, the good that others do; I don’t have much to offer to prove my love for you. The looks I get from others, my feeling of fatigue–could it be I’m not the person you think you see in me?

Child, I tell you now in stillness what I said among the din–the only thing I look for is a longing heart within. I’m not looking for performance. I don’t care if you’re the best. I desire your companionship. I want to give you rest.

That you could want my company, though I struggle so, is a greater gift of comfort than you could ever know. O Savior, take my sadness, my ever-wand’ring heart, and forever reassure me that it is the better part.

The turmoil of your inner life will rarely settle down; chaos and confusion will always come around. But you can learn to rest while striving, sit while standing tall. I promise I’ll be listening, no matter when you call. So come aside and learn of me; there’s room here at my feet. Your tender heart’s desire is the only thing I need. I tell you now in stillness what I said among the din–the only thing I look for is a longing heart within.

Luke 10:38-42

woman contemplationFOR REFLECTION: Do I give myself permission to receive Christ’s compliments even though I still struggle in my walk with Him?

[excerpt from Imagine Meeting Him, by Robert Rasmussen, 1998 Multnomah Publishers, p.57-58]