My life is relatively easy compared to displaced Africans, war ravaged Syrians, threatened Palestinians and Israeli’s, homeless and starving children, harried mothers, lonely widows, and countless others who endured through yet another day. I’m grateful for the roof over my head, the selection of clothes in my closet, and my sweet husband in the other room. If we’re really honest, most of us within the sound of this blog, have so much.
Yet, in the midst of life filled with plenty, God calls us to die. Jesus once said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). Not necessarily a “trending on twitter” topic right?
But…almost every single day this summer God has been calling me to die – to my desires, my longings, my gifts and strengths, my abilities, my wants, my needs. This call has been interior, a giving up of reputation and reward. A familiar, and yet haunting call, to Live Dead.
The Spirit, throughout the summer, revealed my heart’s corrosion – rust, muck, yuck. To be honest, I haven’t enjoyed the view. My innermost being is clogged with SELF. Yes, I know. I’ve blogged about the ever-present battle with the inner ME before, but this summer has been sort of different. I’ve realized how accustomed I’ve become to living instead of dying.
The world shouts, “Do what you love! Embrace everything that gives you LIFE!” The Spirit hastens to remind, “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:4).
In the midst of doing my job, meeting with staff, planning a conference, studying for tests, writing papers, doing the laundry, chatting with friends, pouring a bowl of cereal I realized how my seeming acts of faith are often, deep down inside, acts of self-preservation.
Everyday as I’d desperately cling to LIFE – He’d ask me to die.
I plan to share some of the summer’s challenges in the days to come, but for the record, nothing all that monumental happened. In fact, the Lord continued (and continues) to love and extend grace, to guide and to answer prayer, to provide and to bless with things that, well, give me life: A pedicure with a friend, moments with some of my dearest friends, deep and superfluous conversations with Bob, a few lovely days at the beach, much anticipated answers to specific prayers. Lots of living, and a whole lot of dying.
I’ll write about my lessons – not because I’ve finally arrived or because I have some newfound wisdom – but because I’m pretty sure he’s asking me to fall into the earth and die, yet again.
P.S. My summer journey from life to death began with the gift of a journal called “Live Dead” – 30 Days of Prayer for Unreached Peoples. If you’re interested in taking a similar journey, check out the journal.