… in quietness and trust shall be your strength … Isaiah 30:15
Have you ever contemplated the theology of denying yourself and losing your life to find it? These teachings of Jesus can leave one pondering for an authentic application. What if they are words of invitation for greater obedience and trust?
If our attitudes were given a voice within our hearts, theirs would be as weighty as a pre-determined action carried to completion and can directly inhibit the work of God’s transformation through the Holy Spirit in our souls. Is not the real desire of our souls to live in the abundance of life Jesus came to bring, to be all he designed us to be, and to belong to Him and then only do out of our being and belonging?
|Derivative of original photo by Peggy's Pics.|
Where was it that the temptation to live life in our own strength and will, even “for God” crept into our hearts? Oh, how He loves us, and desires the companionship of doing life in sacred relationship with Him. Why is it difficult to see the intent beyond the words, a call to lay down any brokenness, false securities, to a way of authentic vulnerability in His presence that leads to a fuller, more complete path than we could dream on our own?
If we listen closely to the intent of Jesus’ teachings to lose our lives and deny ourselves with the heart, we hear … a loving invitation. Can you hear the calm and peaceful beckon to willingly offer anything that would keep one from being ones most authentic tender self, one devoid of pretense, position, or perceived power? One where the rule of self-will is silenced by the loving song sung over the soul?
How many times are we tempted to come with an agenda to God and still desire control in relationship because complete trust seems, perhaps uncomfortable? What would abandoning all potential outcomes look like, feel like? What if God in His greater plan decides to use disillusionment and disappointment to conform us to the image of His son knowing those will produce the greater blessing through our lives for other? Can we trust him to make pain a blessing? Isn’t it God’s path to abundant life, not one we have construed on what it “should” look like?
As we walk the path towards sustainment in living an abundant life, we may be faced with an invitation to realize that the temporary disillusionment is really a treasure when finding God in all things. It can be painful, but oh the outcome of that peace that passes all understanding! We can appreciate the cost of trusting as it costs our own self sufficiency, our ego, and living life through our own strength. In reality, it is as if we are precious daughters clinging to the faux pearls when our Father waits patiently for the day that we desire to willingly place them in his hands – in complete trust. With the final letting go of our own lives to be lived our own way, we feel the loving clasp of authentic pearls around our neck, a gift of even greater price to our Father.
Could the intent of the teaching to lay our lives down and deny ourselves actually be love knowing that the only way for peace to permeate the soul is by letting go of those faux “jewels” that may have become “comfortable” – the plastic pearl of ego, and one of self-will as they seem easier in which to cling instead of trusting? What if this trust in a time of liminal space brings our wholeness, our Shalom, our peace?
The soul, that tender and most authentic place where the Presence of the Almighty can grace and transform, is that not the place we are to be clothed with Christ? Is that not the place that we lay down our garments of ego, and accessories of the noise of self-will?
Oh, the result in the eyes of radiance from an interior life surrendered in trust!
May we unfold any grasp we may have to a faux pearl and receive the beauty of the gift he desires to give us all, the priceless treasure, the pearls of living in the presence full of interior joy, finding contentment when our tender souls are surrendered to trust, blossoming in his love, remaining in his sweet communion, acknowledging His Nearness and bringing – the abundant life He promised, and the desire of every soul created with the reflection of the Imago Dei.
Heather Rogero is a wife, mother of three, mentor, and ordained minister. She holds a MA in Biblical Literature with a research thesis on the Queens of King Ahasuerus in search of the historical Queen Esther. She met her husband in seminary and began courting as they translated the book of Ruth for Hebrew class. She also holds a BA in Church Ministries. She is currently pursing post MA certification in Spiritual Transformation. Serving both alongside her husband and singly for over 22 years, she has served in various ministry positions mostly in pastoring, teaching, and women’s ministries including a season of traveling full time speaking at retreats. She has a non-profit now dedicated to mentoring women in spiritual formation and creating sacred rhythms in their lives encouraging intimacy and solitude with God for the sake of others.