Tuesday, January 3, 2017

On Vulnerability, Bipolar and Being Exposed

I sit by the edge of the lake. It's a Sunday afternoon walk where I think and pray. Where I breathe in grace and breathe out the broken.

These days are not easy. I wake up each day with a label and it wants final say of who I am. I take medicine which tastes bitter before bed. The numbers of which have increased since I was in the hospital in May.

How do I keep alive to hope? Keep alive to the New Day? Keep alive to Heaven come to Earth?

I feel on the edge of a cliff with one foot bent over. I don't like heights. Yet I can believe one of two things before I jump. One is that I will crash far below and die. The other is God like an eagle will rescue me and cause me to fly upon the heights.

Each post I write here is like one of those jumps. It's the faith which looks all of the doubts, fears and lies in the face and says 'No more!' It's the one that repels all of the shame of exposure and remains one step ahead.

It's the home in sea and sky and land which God promises to create. He promises the embrace. He promises the hands to hold. He promises it will all come to a glorious conclusion in Life forevermore.
He promises, in that Day, to vanquish all darkness never to be known again.

And this brings me back to my walk.

I noticed them the last time. The roots exposed along several trees lining the edge of the lake.  They dip below to the water and lose their covering of earth and grass. 

This might seem like it would make them fragile and weak, but it does not. They are strong and resolute. Their trees are flourishing, tall, healthy and impressive.

It makes me think of Jeremiah 17:

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
~Jeremiah 17:7-8 

Leaning on, pressing into God makes us like a tree planted by water sending out its roots to the stream. It's as if they are sent out in mission. But to complete it they must be exposed.

And so it is with me, with all of us. If we would truly trust God and flourish, we must be willing to be exposed. That doesn't mean showing off our strong trunks and pretty, wispy leaves blowing freely in the wind.

No, it's the roots. Found in the deep and muddy. All of those gnarled things which God is strengthening; redeeming. Yet, in this process, He asks us to shed our cool, comfortable covering. He asks us to be known for the weak things. He asks us to be real about the struggles. He asks us to let the battle scene be played on the big screen.

He asks us to trust. 

He wants to give us the eyes to see the truth of our flourishing. When we allow ourselves to be exposed we learn our true nature. It's the one He gives us because of Jesus. This Jesus who exposed the infinite of God to a world bent on judgment, misunderstanding, and shame. 

It's Him, this Jesus, who touches those naked roots with His forever love. He makes us strong, brave, hopeful, loving, determined and so much more.

Trust. Rest. Send out your roots on mission. Take the leap and fly on eagle's wings.


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