There is one thing — just one thing — from this weekend’s sermon that has tilted my world a little. I feel like I just found out the world was round after believing it to be flat all this time. This new perspective makes me a little wobbly on my feet, like maybe I need to hold onto the banister tighter lest I tumble off the newly rounded ground.
It’s not even that it’s a brand new thought. We’ve danced around it numerous times and it is the general gist of what my church is all about. But when put as succinctly as it was this past weekend, BAM! It smacks you in the forehead and there’s just. no. getting. around it.
The thought is this: that first, we must figure out what God is doing in His drama. THEN, within the context of God’s drama and our role in it, our own drama will get worked out.
I think it’s the word drama that puts the sting in the slap. I’ve done a pretty good job at eliminating other people’s drama from my life. But that doesn’t mean I don’t create my own. Choices I’ve made — to work, to not work, to care, to not care, to perform, to not perform, etc. — create an inner drama, a self-validated angst, a seemingly appropriate what should I do am I doing the right thing sort of paralysis.
But when I first think about God’s on-going drama, my own drama dissipates like smoke from a snuffed out candle. It seems pointless, all of a sudden, the things I worried about. If I start thinking about how God spends His day, what He’s up to in the world, this business of gathering people to Him, reconciling people to Him, restoring people to the way they were meant to be — the things that I dream of suddenly seem meaningless.
Unless they can somehow fit into the God-story. But do they? I know God is writing my story. I know He holds me close. But am I living up to my end of the bargain?
Lately I have been in a constant state of release. God seems to be teaching me that when I hold on too tightly to the blessings He’s given me, He can not bless me more. After all, you can not take hold of something with a clenched fist — first, you must open your hand. Every time I have released something to Him, He has blessed it more abundantly. As I was sitting in service this past weekend, He quietly spoke to my soul and told me, “All your anxiety comes from resistance against Me.”
I was blown away.
It’s true. My panic attacks and the intense anxiety I often experience come not from some outside source but from an intense desire to control a situation, and the fear that it will spin frantically out of my tightly managed grasp. In release, there is freedom. In release, there is God’s peace. In release is Jesus Himself, with arms bearing gifts. He has yet to grab and run with anything I have released to Him. Instead, my open arms allow Him to hand me the blessings. When I stop resisting Him, I can begin receiving Him.
So I am in a place of laying things down. Trusting that He will make my role in His drama clear — that He will take what I have as an offering to Him, and work it into His plotline in a meaningful way. As I read this page in His grand novel, I can tell I’m only in the beginning. The rest of the book is heavy with page and plump with plot. There is something big right around the page-turn. And like any good drama does, it keeps you wondering till the very end.