Have you ever had a time in your life where the questions demanded answers, but you had none to offer? I’m talking about the kinds of questions that have the potential to cause an upset or dismantling. I’ve been carrying those kinds of questions for a few months now, not sure how to even ask. They are hard questions with no easy answers. I’ve been pondering how should we speak about social and other injustices, how to talk about the collateral damage we inflict with well-meaning phrases, how to talk about the unity of the body of Christ when it seems to be so disjointed.
To be honest, it has been a lot to digest, but these are questions that won’t leave me alone. I’m actually okay with the insistence of attention these kinds of questions demand of me and my faith. Sometimes God takes you there.
Sure we could go kicking and screaming, but that does nothing for us and maybe even prolongs our growth process. It seems to me God is after something deeper, something I cannot perceive because it is humanly imperceptible, something He knows I need to deal with. Sometimes God takes you there.
Going there includes a mess of doubt that rises to throw you off kilter. This is the kind of “off” that calls you to examine your beliefs and practices of faith. It’s not that God wants, or even desires, to shame you. He’s not bent on bringing you down. It is more that God is raising you up to be His image bearer. That image is not what we often see portrayed in the everyday, ordinary mundane. Sometimes God takes you there.
Why tell you these things? Because you need to know you’re not alone, and also I am not alone. I tell you because my practices of faith are perfectly imperfect, messy, and not always aligned to what God desires. I sometimes miss the mark in different ways and different areas. Sometimes, many times, God takes me there. But… there has been grace, and there will be more grace to breakthrough lies, to put off chains, and to walk in freedom (in the Spirit of the Lord). His presence is my freedom, and it is a freedom the gives me space to ask hard things, to wrestle with challenging social/moral ills, and to get real and honest with this God I cannot see. Sometimes God takes me there, and I’m not going to fight Him. Instead, I’m choosing to lean in, to speak openly and honestly, and to receive His whole Truth even when it upsets my way of thinking. I’m going to grasp His hand and hold on tight.
Sometimes going there means entering the shadowlands of inherited faith to discover what is truly believed, laying down the right to be “right,” letting go of calloused thinking, dropping assumptions, living counter-cultural, or whatever it might be that God has graciously pin-pointed in your life. I know what He is pin pointing in mine, and it seems daunting, but for grace, I know He will lead me rightly.
Advent – Hope of promise has come. We can live. Freedom has come. I want to live abundantly in it. I see this means throwing off those things that keep me from connecting, rooting, growing, reaching, and loving. Here’s to pressing in, leaning in, holding fast, breathing deep, and settling firm in the Truth of God with us – Emmanuel. I’m choosing Christ through the darkness because He will be Light. Advent has come and will come again with hope breaking upon the dawn.
How are you leaning in during this Advent season?
Linking up with Lisha Epperson for #GiveMeGrace