Laid Bare

P1320286 compressedEvery so often there are moments in our lives where there are intersections of sorts. We cannot see them coming, often don’t realize the occurrence when in the midst, and can barely put words to them on the back end.

I had one of these intersection ‘moments’ my last trip to Uganda. The whole trip was an intersection moment, and I’ve been pondering it ever since, and I’ll try to put some words to it today.

We go through life with a buffer system of sorts, ways of coping with our days and managing all that comes to us. It is a system that we rarely think of except in those times when it isn’t there.

For instance, have you ever been very ill, with not only your physical defenses down, but your emotional ones as well. Where everything is heightened and responses are that much more intense and critical, where sadness is that much deeper and comfort harder to come by.

This was my experience on my last trip. While you can read about the work of that trip HERE, the experience of being laid over with weakness was its own thing entirely.

While in that weakness came a deep work for the Lord for others, and in that weakness God had the most space to work, that same weakness facilitated a deep work in my own being.

So many things have shifted since that trip, I look back and will be forever grateful and thankful. With weakness laid over, I cried and cried on that trip, prayed and prayed, and with my innards stripped bare, laid every part of my life at the feet of the Lord.

I sat in sorrow, rested in silence, and walked in the moments. There was nothing else to do. I was simply there, and in that time and space some sort of earthquake deep within my being took place.

I can’t give all the particulars, but my kids lives are different after that trip, my own days are changed, and the outflow from deep inside has a different tenor.

And I think about how we so avoid these deep works. It obviously took me going to Uganda, allowing a weak space in service of others, with a stripping of all regular coping mechanisms, for the Lord to break through some deeply held constructs within my own being.

So why do we doggedly avoid the laid-bare places?

I recall a conversation I had with a fellow some years ago. He was intentionally not entering into an area of giftedness and a specific ministry because he knew he would come face to face with his pride. So instead of going forward and dealing with his inner stuff, he held back, refused the gifted ministry places, and consequently, hung onto his pride quite effectively.

The logic is off. But I think his candid decision marks a lot of us at times. We hold back from the gifted places and the intense ministries of heart and mind, because we do not want to confront our inner demons. We don’t want to find out what is lurking behind the shadows. Mediocrity and less-than serve us very well, thank-you very much.

It is no secret that giving of ourselves is the best way to personally grow. We cannot help but mature when we make our life about others and not ourselves. The fellow who avoided ministry and advocated self protection, personifies selfish living to the extreme. It might feel nicer, but nothing changes, growth isn’t given a chance, and no one is blessed. No one.

And the intersections whereby the Lord moves us, and where transformations take place, are ultimately rejected.

Rather than this sad scenario, go for the ministry, go for the gifted places, make space for intersections and deep movements. It won’t be nice, but it will be good. For as the writer of Proverbs says, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” 11:25

The weakness by which I was brought low, completely lifted off of me at Amsterdam airport. Halfway home I ‘was back’. Feeling strong and normal, but never the same. Thank-You God

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