Thursday, September 2, 2010

Friday's Faith - Coming Unglued ~ Power in Weakness

Friday's Faith

Coming Unglued

Lost. Father, who am I? What do I do?

Spinning. Round and round. I'm coming unglued.

Opportunity. Please throw out the "spam";

Loss. After child-loss, reveal who I am.

Tethered. Held to Your side, You will hold me

Together. Though my world flies apart, be

Lord. Sanity centered in You restores

Wholeness. In weakness, You'll hover e'en more.

"Peace. My peace I give you, not as the world

Gives. E'en amidst losing your baby girl,

Rest. You're being made anew to fit My

Kingdom. Trust My design and know that I

Reign. And My Kingdom's not of this world:

Life. Centered in Me. Like your baby girl..."


Power in Weakness

God's ways often turn our illusions, our assumptive beliefs on their head. We know that in Child-Loss grief, we are at our abject weakest, and we keep waiting for "our strength" to come around the next corner. And indeed it may, only to be followed by more abject weakness as we remember once more that horrible truth that Our.Child.Has.Died.

So, while we are waiting for "our strength" to come, God Himself comes into our weakness. His Light seems to shine most brightly in our abject darkness. His Love seems to wrap its arms around us best when we are on our knees in abject weakness mourning our lost child. His Comfort rings most clearly in the still silence of our grief's stupor. His Presence blesses us and becomes our strength.

(Indeed, if we do reclaim some of "our strength," His Presence seems to recede to the background and when we are again aware of our aloneness, our position of us-against-the-world in our stark weakness, we become desperately frightened, panicked even.)

But when tears come, again releasing some of our grief and pain, His Nearness comes back with its Healing Power, holding us close to His heart. When will we learn, our weakness, admitting our power is all poured out, invites Him in all His imminent power to step in with Healing Love, Comfort, and Holy Presence.

It then becomes that accepting our weakness means inviting His strength to come along beside us, and we become inherently stronger, but humble in knowing that truly, We Need Him Every Hour, Every Day, of Each and Every Year of our lives ~ 24/7/365.


"According to [John of] Ruysbroeck, we can also invite the presence of Jesus into our lives by cultivating a sense of our own destitution without Him. In so doing we create what he calls a valley of humility. Of course, attaining genuine humility is not easy.

We are prone in our fallen nature to find security in the pretense of our own strengths. Our culture tells us that it is the self-reliant and self-confident who prosper. Many of us have been raised in the "age of self esteem."

In fact, these self-building strategies bring death to our souls...

It may be helpful to remind ourselves that at His first coming Jesus came not to the high and mighty, but to pious God-fearing folks of the countryside. Mary received Jesus into her life as a humble handmaiden of the Lord. . . .

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus informs us that it is only the poor in spirit, the meek and the mourners who will see the kingdom of God (and its King) break into their lives.

Ruysbroeck tells us that the one who wants to practice the presence of Jesus needs to "take his stand upon his own littleness. . . ."

~Mark Harris, quoting John of Ruysbroeck (capitalizations mine)


May we rest in the paradox in which we are living, that it is when we are weak that we are strong, for that is when the very Spirit of God "tabernacles" over us...

But (Jesus) said to me,

"My grace is sufficient for you, for [your] power is brought to its end in weakness."

All the more gladly, then, will I boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ [not mine!] may tabernacle upon me. Therefore, I take delight in weaknesses, in insults, in necessities, in persecutions and calamities for the sake of Christ, for when I am weak, then I am strong.

~2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (translation by Marva Dawn*)


Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the Valley of Vision
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine.
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.

~Prayer of an anonymous Puritan

Picture: "Red Flower Girl" ~Rudy Chorvat

Poem - Coming Unglued - Angie Bennett Prince - 9/1/10, 4:00 am

Marva Dawn, Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God, p. 41


1 comment:

danielle198890 said...

Yes... Strength and weakness cycles within our grief torment as the currents in the sea. I try to remember that the more I rely on God, the closer He draws to me. Some days the turbulence in this challenging life seems to whip all the energy from my soul and my prayers are rather scattered... I pray for Grace and His embrace.

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