When it’s raw, it’s real, authentic and genuine. For some that brings relief and others it scares them to death. Either way it’s real and true. It may not look pretty to those who pretend to have it all together behind the masks. You know the masks you put on before you leave the door in the morning, we all have them. The titles, degrees, wallets, and zip codes we live and hide behind. The pride, lust, and greed. Yet, to those awaken know there’s no mistaken the depth of the truth and beauty beneath the authentic rawness of one’s soul. For it’s there in which true beauty dwells in the One who knows all beauty. We talk about the beauty of the garden of Eden, but often we run from the beauty in the garden of Gethsemane. Who wants to suffer right? Do you hear… God is calling You. Where are you? Why are You hiding?
Do you have what it takes? The courage to sit and be completely naked in the garden before the God? With the God who already knows all? To take the pain, let the sorrow be sorrow? To let the tears flow without shame and to die? To sense and hold the tension. The same kind of tension that held Jesus on the cross? It’s not giving in or giving up, but a surrender to the lover who’s hands are like no other. “In to your hands I commend my Spirit”, Jesus says from the cross. We attempt to compartmentalize the mystery of faith into separate events; the birth, his life, the cross and resurrection of Jesus. We only connect them when we so desire to do so. In reality it’s all one big mystery to us all.
When we lament we become authentically honest and vulnerable before God. We admit our fears and that we are in fact weak. It doesn’t weaken our faith, but show that even in faith, pain and sorrow exist. Pain doesn’t disappear or abandon us because one knows God. Don’t be fooled, that’s not having faith. It’s a kind of faith that stands tall, broad, and wide like a oak tree that faces down doubt, stays rooted during the strongest of storms, and in the midst of life’s disappointments it’s boughs do not break. That is the gift of faith.
In the middle of the wind and the rain it looks like the psalmist crying out and lamenting in pain “How long O’Lord?” In tears one cries “It’s not suppose to be this way?”
You know there is no quick fix, band aid, or one blue pill to take. No…. Soul work is for the Lord alone. It’s His hand of grace that is the medication one needs. It is He who is the Divine Physician. It is His love, mercy, and comfort that balms one’s breaking heart and aching soul. And so one digs a well and does not give up. You stay focused on the water and not the dirt for this well must go deeper than before. You keep a look out for the man with the water jar in the midst of the chaos. It is he who will show you the way in the crowd or alone. He will be there and you will know.
Because it is Him you must follow to the upper room. For just the like the garden there are two upper rooms, and no second upper room happens with out the first. Oh, how one wishes it were not so! For you know it’s death you are walking into.
You learn there is no weakness in the tears of lamenting to God. For as you sit, you learn He already knows. He says, what took you so long to bring all this to me? It’s I the Lord your God who will care for you and carry you through this season of life. A winter of darkness in which so much must die. Your hopes, dreams, expectations and plans for the future. You realize God is asking for a greater level of trust & dependence on Him, but first, you must under-go the test. Letting Him purify your heart, refine your character, and prepare your heart for more of Him.
For it’s one thing to let go of the externals, but to give Him those unseen desires and attachments on the inside. Well, that’s a whole different ball game, but it is the angels who tell us again and again “Do not be afraid”. Yet, we want control an then wonder did Mary fear being a mother so young? What did Joseph have to give up and surrender to in order to take Mary as his wife? And the Magi, they only had the star to follow and yet still gave their availability to just go! Will You do the same for Jesus?
And maybe the hardest thing of all is that there is nothing for one to do, but rely heavily on His divine grace and die. The same fire that set your heart on fire for Jesus will burn away all that is impure and not of God. Stay and do not go….. preserve in this place and under-go the test. Die a little more to self. Sit inside the flame of His love.
You must watch and wait. Oh yes, it’s gonna get hot! To watch and wait does not mean sloth or laziness in which one does nothing. Oh no, something beautiful is being crafted and about to be conceived. It’s a joint act of the will and heart inside the agony of the Garden. So much must die this winter season for new life, new growth, and the flowers to bloom come spring. A resurrection of a new kind is on the way. But it requires one to take a leap of faith further and deeper into the love of Jesus. Will you follow? Will you let Him prepare your heart this Advent season and let the Christ Child be born anew in you? O Come, O Come Emmanuel….
May the God of love and the God of hope bless you abundantly this Advent season.