I asked my pastors yesterday if I could, at some point, stand before our congregation and thank them. Not only thank them for their prayers, gifts, thoughts and help - but tell them what they are really doing. I do hope I get that chance because there is an enormous spiritual lesson I am learning through this process.
And today, I want to try and pen my first thoughts on it.
It is the principle in Matthew 5:3. Eugene Peterson in his opus The Message puts it this way:
You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
This whole idea of, when you have nothing else to give, you get it all - I believe is fantastically demonstrated in John 13 when Jesus stoops to wash His Disciples feet.
I haven't nearly completed my research on either passage, but my gut instinct right now is to say that by your prayers and actions on our behalf, I am learning what it means to redeemed.
When I came back to The Lord 7-ish years ago, I had experiences that showed me what kind of mess Jesus had removed me from. He was my Savior then (as He is now).
But there is another dimension being added to this equation. He is not only my Lord and Savior - He is ultimately my Servant. He exists to help me. He works to give our family hope and a future free from fear and pain. He is the ultimate Suffering Servant King, and even in glory, He never ceases to intercede for me.
You might know that. I did.
But what I know now through everything everyone has done and said on our behalf is that I have to LET Him serve me.
He is teaching me through this process of vulnerability and dependence on your support that there is another side to service.
Yes - we are called to serve, but I think first, we must BE served. We must be willing to lay down our own agendas and what we would do with our gifts, leave them at the door and enter into the Heavenly spa-chair. (That's a pedicure references for all the guys out there.)
And even though Jesus said we only needed a foot-bath, in the end, He washes our whole selves clean in order that we can fully understand what we will be doing for someone else in turn.
I always thought I was pretty compassionate and loving. But because I have seen Christ in action through you - I have a new vision of the depth, width, height and length of what His love really looks like. It is humbling, painful but in the end, worth it. He is giving me a unique vision of agape. I might have tasted it before, but now I am fully drinking from the cup.
How odd that has taken this painful season to understand it.
This is the question I keep rolling around in my noggin - have you ever let The Lord serve you? Have you let Him pour the oil of His love out on your life?
Maybe you or someone you love need healing. Maybe you need to know you are not alone. Maybe you need to know that there is hope.
It is all there - if you would just dip your toe into the waters of salvation. Be washed, be cleansed, start from the bottom up. Let Him serve you through whatever means He presents - especially through His Church.
There is more to come on this and I think, maybe by next week I will be able to start the web series on Genesis 22. I might, just might have the time but I know it's time to take that incident in Abraham's verse by verse. I hope it will be as eye-opening for you as I know it will be for me. There are many treasures to unearth in this ancient text.
Lord, open our eyes so we might see You, our ears to hear Your Voice and minds that will grasp your Thoughts.
Happy Thanksgiving - I hope to post what we are thankful for later in the week. But now, I have to take a little girl to the park!