Proverbs 9:4-6 (the message)
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread–fresh-baked bread,
roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
Walk up the street to a life of meaning.”
It’s really, really cold outside in my part of the world this morning. As I sit at my kitchen table talking with God and watching the sun peeking out behind the trees I cry out in frustration. Last Wednesday night we had a guest Pastor speak at our church. One of the things he said that really stuck with me was how God will take you “out of your depth.” As soon as he said that I knew exactly what he meant…God will take you places in life that don’t make sense except that He is behind it. God will move you and lead you into places that are way over your head…places in which you will need to lean into and depend on Him every day or else it all goes down in flames. Sigh…I am way out of my depth these days.
Just being real, I told the Lord this morning what He and I both know: I can’t do what He asks of me and I can’t give what needs to be given on my own. As I wrote about yesterday, I know what I do and don’t have in my natural personality to give to others. I know my natural default and limitations and it’s not always pretty. But what I know more than that is those limitations don’t matter once they are swallowed up in God. See, as I really began to seek God every day and learn to yield to Him my life began to change in ways I would have never seen coming. But I wasn’t looking for any change except in myself! I needed help! Along the way as it became less of me and more of Him I found myself more and more “out of my depth.” Smile and cringe…just the way I believe He likes it.
The bottom line for me is that I must have Jesus and live in that overflow. Otherwise it’s me spinning my wheels and operating out of my own strength. I just do not want to live a fake life. I don’t want to present myself to others, have them believe I am something more than I am, if my own family gets a “lesser” version. In the end it doesn’t matter so much if I was kind and patient and giving with others if my children get the loud and impatient left-overs. See, I desire and intend to live a builders life. I want to see others with the eyes of Jesus. Hear them with the His ears and love them with His heart. Jesus is always for tearing down strongholds and building us up in Him…taking us to places in our lives that require far more than we naturally possess for productive and fruitful outcomes.
The devotional I use along with my Bible in the morning, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, spoke this morning of God creating us with yearnings and needs that will only find completion in Him. How that touched my heart. It’s no mistake we are imperfect and needy. It’s no mistake that we are unstable and unable on our own. Our lack and inability only find completion in Him, and so we are drawn to Jesus…straight into His arms…to a 12-year-old kitchen table at 6:30 a.m. to cry out for Jesus, for completion.
The verses above are Wisdom speaking. Wisdom calling out to those confused and living a spiritually impoverished life…”come, oh come.” I love the invitation to come and have dinner…partake in this fine spread prepared for you by the Creator of the universe. He’s still calling us as confused as we still are at times, as frustrated and empty as life may seem. See, it’s only in this intimate encounter with Jesus, partaking in all that He has done and prepared for us that our confusion turns to wisdom. Our spiritual lack is filled with generous portions of His Spirit within. Only in these intimate times are we led away from all we are able to do and handle and manage on our own into places and purposes that far surpass all we could have ever seen for ourselves. Jesus fills us at His table and then leads us out of our depth. It costs us our comfort but yields a greater reward than we could have ever achieved on our own.
I am amazed to find that indeed Jesus will take ordinary folks and intentionally lead us to places that require we cry out for Him. Places in life, unexpected as they are, that open our eyes to see every need, every desire, every yearning deep inside finds its completion only in Him. See, Jesus is more than enough while every other attempt always comes up short.
Regardless of the struggle at times, I intend to live…to ‘walk up the street to a life with meaning’ all the while realizing I’m just getting in deeper and increasingly over my head. Out of my depth…more than I could ever be on my own…less of me and more of Him…hanging on at times and soaring in the clouds at others. As I said , with tears and frustration, to my Father this morning: We both know what I’m like. I can’t do this on my own. I need you, Jesus.
As challenging as it can be sometimes, what better way to live?