Wednesday, August 1, 2012

unknowing

I was having lunch with a good friend the other day when he made a comment that struck a chord deep within me.  The gist of the comment involved a growing realization that in the past several months he had become more and more fragile within and had grown less and less sure of himself.  And as I heard him share this, a deep yes came up from the core of my being.  A yes that said, "Me too.  I know that place well."  A yes that recognized the beauty and the vulnerability of it.  A yes that recognized the possibility and fertility of it.  And a yes that recognized that while most of us would perceive such a place as a bad thing, it, in fact, is very, very good--maybe one of the best things as far as the life of God's Spirit within us is concerned.  Because this uncertainty and frailty and vulnerability creates some of the best possible soil for God to do his work.  It seems that the most transforming seasons of our lives occur in the times of most significant upheaval, struggle, brokenness and pain.  It is almost as if during these seasons something is opened up within us that was closed before.  We were far too sure of ourselves, and in order to create fruitful space to live and to grow, that surety had to be put to death.  Somehow our misguided sense of adequacy and certainty and confidence had to be destroyed in order to rip apart the old images, the false narratives, we once lived by in order to create space for God to come in and provide new (true) ones.  All too often we use what we think we know as a defense.  A defense from not knowing, which actually keeps us from really knowing (in the Genesis 4:1 Adam knew Eve sense)...the truth...which sets us free (John 8:31-32).  What we think we know can actually be an obstacle, because it can keep us from real knowing.  So in many ways, this sense of inadequacy, or uncertainty, or instability, or fragility is a gift because it opens up a place deep within us for God to enter in...and dwell.  And that opening up, and entering in, and dwelling (intimate knowing) is ultimately what we (and God) most deeply long for.

So step on in, O my soul, to the soil of uncertainty, because it is the most fertile soil for the work of God's Spirit that there is.

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