I have been reflecting on the reality and impact of long-term, unresolved adversity in life.
We all know someone, you might be that someone, who lives with unresolved physical ailment – the kind that alters how one goes about life.
Others live with internal scars from relational abuses or neglects.
Maybe its childlessness or singleness or any of a number of long griefs we carry.
What if this reality we find ourselves in is the very context in which we are now invited to walk closer with God and others? What if these are the means to such a way of a deeper, matured life?
What if he does not heal the hurts but the hurts are a way he draws us in to heal our souls of deeper ills?
I submit some personal musings from a journal entry during this past Advent:
Musings on a Life as a Message – What If?
What if my health challenges are not meant to be cured?
What if walking with prolonged mystery is to be my life message, a message of hope and consolation and contradiction to the world?
What if God is not after a resolution, but rather a stewardship of this mystery?
This is now a relational issue, not a knowledge or skill-based issue. I am ushered in deeper with the Triune God – Father, Son and Spirit. My spirituality – that is the way I respond to him in this beauty and muck of life – requires a deepening as well.
I am invited to steward all that God offers. When mystery (that which I cannot control nor explain) goes my way, I love it. But when it brings pain and suffering, I resent it. I want answers and resolution. My growing sense is that I am to rather receive it, embrace the adversities – to steward this “calling”, this “vocation.”
This calling, this vocation, this stewardship, this path, this cruciform life (is this an accurate usage of this term?) requires a deeper well to draw from.
Is my spirituality sufficient for the path God lays before me?
God is inviting me deeper in, how am I responding?
The old ways will not suffice. There are elements of my life that serve God’s purposes and myself well. There are also elements of my life that choke God’s seed in the soil of my heart. These briar patches are to be avoided, denied, resisted.
I will continue to need the Spirit to give me fresh, new, unimagined vision for how I live out all the details of my life. I sense that if I am given the eyes to see the prize, specific, daily choices might be easier to make.
Yet, I do not want a prophet’s life. Prophet’s are social misfits, misunderstood, rejected, eventually silenced. I can easily fantasize about the impact (i.e fame!). But this path is far more costly than I have yet known or am likely willing to pay. Hebrews 11:35-39 comes to mind.
Is this the path to becoming (not in a self-actualized way, but in a Spirit-formed way) an elder in the faith, a person of true wisdom?
We tend to think its our strengths and successes that shine forth, what if its our brokenness and weaknesses that are the greatest message for others to see?
These are some of my current wonders. I’d be grateful to hear some of your wrestlings of late. Thank you for responding and sharing.