losing it

Posted: February 16th, 2011 | Filed under: life | 6 Comments »

If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms. – Luke 17:33

We can call many things into question and examine them. A woman who speaks of her children knitted in her womb and another woman whose womb has no thread. A woman can curl up under her husband’s heavy arm and another woman has no one to breathe in the smell of her hair. A family who shares their vacation pictures and another family who has to make the milk last until Friday.

Where is the balance between hope for what is not yet and contentment that it will never be? It is harder to let go when things are going well. It is easier for the brokenhearted. Their comfort comes from God. They are the blessed. (Matt5:3-4)

Envy makes their grass greener. People will say they are blessed. They will show you their shiny things and it makes you ache. To what are you clinging? What is it that will make you happy? Life on your terms causes you to lose life completely.

If you were levitating in goodness and then knocked down by failure, you are blessed. The broken have lost their grasp. They get life on God’s terms. That’s grace.

Undeserved favor. Grace gives you what you don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve.

If life on your terms includes what makes you look blessed apart from grace, you are not blessed. It is very difficult for those who have to get in on what the Spirit is doing. Their lack is further from their reality. It is impossible for those who do not have to find God when they are looking for evidence of Him in things.

God is much bigger than the ease of life. He likes to pour through the cracks of what is broken because you can’t explain that away. You find God in the spaces of “in spite of.” Devotion is found in the deep recesses of “even if.”

Straighten your fingers. Release your white knuckles. Maybe it’s time to look for God in the spaces between.

You know, that place in the middle of a laugh when you make no sound at all.



6 Comments on “losing it”

  1. 1 StacyK said at 7:37 am on February 16th, 2011:

    so few in this world can articulate, even in the smallest way, the ugly ache in the depths of a desolate uterus.

    after reading the second sentence, i wanted to jump through the screen and hug your neck with grateful thanks for reaching into that space that most people are scared to touch (or are "sick of hearing about")

    again, you spoke the heart of Jesus in every single word and it is like the hugest fuzziest yummiest blanket wrapped around my shivering spirit. {{thank you}}

  2. 2 Serena Woods said at 7:50 am on February 16th, 2011:

    Stacey: I would hug you right back. πŸ™‚

    …finding God in the void.

  3. 3 Warren Baldwin said at 10:19 am on February 16th, 2011:

    Your have a knack for compressing complex truths into succinct and memorable phrases. I like this one: "If you were levitating in goodness and then knocked down by failure, you are blessed. The broken have lost their grasp. They get life on God’s terms. That’s grace." Think I will use it tonight in our class. Good post.

  4. 4 Serena Woods said at 10:41 am on February 16th, 2011:

    Cool, Warren. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  5. 5 Rachel said at 10:46 am on February 16th, 2011:

    So beautiful, so true. Being broken-hearted is hard hard hard, but God truly is there.

  6. 6 Tracey said at 6:23 am on February 19th, 2011:

    After I confessed an affair, and was forgiven through the grace of God, my husband bought me a beautiful ring. He called it the "I love you anyway"gift. At first I was very sad, that he loved me anyway, like I was second best, lower class. Then he explained that he meant it to be more, in spite of, including, not less or lower. That was the example of God's grace "in spite of" to me. If my husband loves me with that kind of grace and forgiveness, how much more so the God of the universe??

    God is indeed found in the spaces in between, and in the "even if", that's where I found Him.

    Thanks for being brave enough to tell the world your experience, and for expressing God so beautifully.

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