I don’t have a bow big enough.
People say they want a space where it’s okay to wrestle, and search, and struggle. A place where they can be safe to grow. But their actions say they just want life to get wrapped up pretty with a glittery bow on top.
The wrestling, the searching, the struggle feels too much like failing. Who wants to work so hard just to fail?
Take myself for example: I’ve wrestling, searching, and struggling. I resigned from ministry recently–call it burn out, call it getting burned, call it whatever you want, but it feels like someone has dunked in paint thinner everything I believed about my calling, the church, and how God’s people live together in His new and still coming kingdom. This isn’t bad. I know it doesn’t look pretty–I’ve got peeling, bubbles, and crackles. Yet as everything of the old is being stripped away, I find there is beauty being revealed. You might not see it. But I do. I beg you, please don’t try to wrap it up and put a bow on it.
Something tells me that I’m not the only one who is wrestling, searching, and struggling. If that’s you, do you feel like there’s space for that? Do you feel like the people in your life will give you grace for your growing pains or will they rush to judgment and/or clean up? Please don’t shrink back from the honesty of wrestling, searching, and struggling. It’s okay that it’s not pretty. Pretty can be faked. Beauty often hides beneath the surface and it takes time and practice before the stripping off of the old can be embraced as a revelation of the new. Some may choose to look at the peeling, bubbling, and crackling. It’s their loss.
Don’t be tempted to trade the beauty for what’s inside and buried deep for the just the mere pretty wrapping and bow. Keep wrestling, searching, and struggling honesty. I, for one, will not put a bow on it. Even if I tried, I know I don’t have a bow big enough to conceal the beauty of the resurrected Christ who is being revealed in you. It’s not failing. It’s your unveiling–all that is not of Christ is dying to make room for the life He’s living in you. You might not see Him yet. But I do.
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” ~Colossians 3:3-4