"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Outside the Box

This feels like a risky post to share. In showing my weakness, and in letting you see that I can be a bit “out there,” I hope to share some hope with you. So here goes.

Those of you who know me, know that I am called as a counselor first, and exercise other roles as the needs arise, but not always comfortably. Recently, I was standing in the wings, waiting to go on platform to deliver a difficult message, to a large crowd, at a difficult time. It was in the wake of international and local tragedies, and I had been struggling with it spiritually and emotionally. I also had a nasty bronchial issue, always there, always nagging, always threatening to spring from my chest and take my throat and mouth by storm, rendering me useless as a speaker. I stood there, surrounded by black walls, black curtains, black ceiling. The black door closed behind me, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Boxed in, literally and figuratively.

The usual prayers, “God help me,” head bowed, spirit broken. Then, through the crack, I saw the lyrics to the praise music. I could not sing, but I lifted my heart to Him, the One who brought me there to do His will, to speak his Words. My hands soon followed my lifted-up heart.

At some point, I am not sure when or how, I began to dance. I just forgot myself. I became a little boy dancing before his Father-- then, Abraham beneath the stars. The black box that once contained me was gone. There I was, before the God of the universe, dancing, worshipping, free to serve without reservation. At some point, my attention had shifted from myself, and my own inadequacies, to God and his complete adequacy.

There was something different in my gait as I crossed the stage that day. I still had to stop to sip water a time or two (the flesh is weak) but there was newfound liberty in the delivery of this message. I was free from the box that once contained me.

How often in the days that preceded the delivery of this message, I questioned, “Why do things always have to be so impossible?” Here is what I have decided: If things were possible (to me), I would not rely on God in the same way that I do when they are quite beyond my personal grasp. There would be little room for God. I would be content within the box. And what a shame that would be!

“Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 10

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  1. Dear Steve , what an awesome reminder for me personally. Shifting my focus to God.. And away from me, and a great picture you painted with your words of stepping outside the box. I can just see you dancing! D.C.

  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing it. I might try the dancing thing before I teach next time. :)