Sunday, March 18, 2007
When You're Comfortable With Nothingness
"Seek ye first... learn of Me... and I will give you rest..."
The timing of this will not be for everyone. But perhaps for you, it will confirm a whisper you've heard in your heart.
When, at 11, I 'got saved', They told me, "Ok, now go to work... (to the work, to the work). Go and tell everyone what has happened to you and bring them in (bring them in, bring them in, bring them in from the fields of sin)."
They did not say, "First, spend some time getting to know Jesus." Oh, They said, "Read your Bible," but they didn't say become acquainted with this person who's just moved into your heart. They didn't show me how to sustain a relationship with this new-found lover of my soul.
They just said, "Go to work."
It's hard to work for a mystery person. Someone you've only heard about from others. Or read about. And after a few years of 'to the work, to the work', it all caught up with me, some of which I've already explained in this blog.
But then one year, God swooped in. He stopped me in my worker's tracks (no, I didn't get sick or anything) and He told me I was going to start all over. He said I'd done things my way and everyone else's way and look where that had led me. Now, this time, we were going to begin with love. Love for Him. And after that, love for others.
That's when He brought my life down to nothingness, though actually, it was 'up,' but just appeared like down. He began stripping things away from me. Oh, no one died, nor did my house burn down, or anything (calm down!).
No, He kept calling me away to Himself at times the people in my life called me away to them. I had to say no a lot... I had to let go of some old friends. TV shows I'd loved since childhood sounded boring, suddenly. He changed all my dreams around and some just disappeared.
I spent much time alone in my room...alone with Him. He gave me a desire to read the Bible and I barely wanted to read anything else (though when I did, He encouraged me to set the other books aside). He encouraged me to listen for hours to the woman who became my favorite teacher and through her, He showed me probably a hundred ways where I'd been messing-up for the past 20+ years.
That was a season of my life... it lasted for two years and some friends told me I'd gone overboard (my best friends, ones I'd thought would understand or at least be patient). But I so needed those two years. They were a God-led season--not something I chose, nor something I thought I should do because someone else tried that season and it worked for them. No, it was a time where God began rebuilding me to His specifications, not my own. And He had to tear down most of the foundation I'd built according to the way everyone had told me for years it should be built. That foundation had been on the verge of collapsing as all faulty foundations will in time.
And ever since, nothing has been the same. After you've spent some time with nothingness, anything you receive afterward feels like something extra--something nice, yes--but something you could have gotten along without if you'd had to. Because now you have the best thing... and no longer do you feel the stress to be the best or to grab and yank from others what was never meant for you. You drink from one fountain and that is--He is--enough.
And there is freedom, joy and peace in that beyond anything this world can offer.
Again, the timing of this is not for everyone who will read these words. But for some of you, I hope it will serve as simple confirmation.