Lonely listening

All the things we wrestle with in life are moments when we are truly alone in our hearts and minds. God gets you alone in those moments, and when we are finally alone in those moments, God can meet you and speak to you. I notice this in several of the most stressful and painful moments of my life, when I have no idea what will happen or how anything can happen. In those moments I come to God and hear Him most. Why is this the case?

Because the noisiest parts of our hearts and lives are our stubbornness and pride. Our self-confidence is terribly noisy.

This is why moments of heartbreak, disappointment, sickness, and brokenness are the times we hear God clearest. It is in those times our noisy self-confidence is shut off, and we have no choice but to hear the only One worthy of our confidence.

Intimacy in the Brokenness

Sometimes I strive so hard at living with the most excellent virtue, in absolute piety, in "Christian perfection" of sorts that I become more and more strained, confined and closed in. We can be so dependent upon upholding the rules and expectations we place on ourselves that we forget the relationship we were intended for. I think of the comparison between the prodigal and his brother.  I think of the difference in the levels of intimacy with the father they both resemble.  I find that in his brokenness and humility, the prodigal experiences far greater intimacy with the father than does his sinless, pious and self-righteous brother.

The true site of the Christian disciple is one of a man or woman who is able to praise God for all things, including his own sin, he who is not obsessed with the perfect portrayal of self and spirituality.  She who is not complacent and shackled by a practical life.  He who strives more for the relationship than the rules and understands that he has, is and will fail but can realize that God expects more failure from him than he ever does from himself.  She who realizes we do not have to come groveling to God with a clear presentation of our sins and failures IN ORDER TO BE forgiven, but realizes the prodigal's father did not ask for an explanation, and Jesus did not ask the adulterous woman for an apology or confession.  The disciple realizes that we will not be judged now or in the end for our sins because we have already been judged and found not guilty, but that God desires we show up in his embrace and accept his love.

Old prayer for brokenness

God, Please let me back among the broken, meek, and humble. I don't know how much longer I can handle being among those who know it all, have it all together, and are unwilling to be broken, uncomfortable and bedraggled. Please let me be back in a place where it is okay to be bedraggled, ruffled, confused, and searching. Back in a place where we believe you reach down in our discomfort and humility and embrace us.

My heart aches for brokenness and the freedom to be such.

* I found this prayer in an old journal. Perhaps you are praying a similar prayer today.

the time I prayed for strength

I found myselfbroken on the floor in tears. I did not know what to do or where to go who I had become.

So I asked for strength for wisdom.

Rarely do I ask for much I am more content to pursue intimacy than to ask for things

brokenness makes you ask for things

I started asking and I waited...





I listened until I was frustrated with the silence Just before I fell asleep, I lay there with dried up eyes and I heard:

"I am not a genie. I am your God, and I love you. If you want strength, I am not just going to GIVE you strength. It will start to get really difficult now. Will you be strong in those times or not. I am not a genie; I am your God who loves you."

When I am not weak enough

1 Corinthians 9, verse 22 says: "To the weak I become weak, so that I might win the weak."

One reason I struggle so much to reach out to the hurting, broken, and weak around me is because I have not rightfully understood this passage. In attempts to reach out to the poor and weak, I commonly end up taking the stance: "Let me be strong for you. Let me reach out to you and be strong in your weakness. Let me be put-together where you are broken." This is how I have thought it should be for so long.

The problem with that approach, of course, is putting myself in God's role. God's role is to be strong in my weakness and put-together in my brokenness.

My job is to be weak to the weak and broken to the broken. This is how I am to reach the weak and broken.

It is not my job to be God. It is my job to be weak to the weak and broken to the broken and allow God to be strong where we are weak and put-together where we are broken.