The Skinny Place

Ephesians 3:20 (the message)
God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

This morning I spoke with a dear friend. In the course of conversation she mentioned an idea she has floating around her heart.

Right now the idea is somewhat random and disconnected. No plan attached to it yet. No guarantees. No logical sequence of events would necessarily precede or follow.

But this idea keeps tugging at her heart…

As we were talking I heard myself describing the skinny place.

This place, slim window of time, when God nudges our hearts with a thought, idea or desire and then waits for an answer.

My friend has been though a lot. More than most. And she knows God is not wasteful. We know it together. His word says that all things work together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purposes. Sure, I used to think, claim even, that this verse means if I love God everything is good.

Now I know it means that no matter what comes my way…God will bring good from it. Loving Him and caring about His purposes opens the door for Jesus to work in my life. In my ugly stuff. In my scary stuff. In my hopeless stuff.

So, I encouraged my friend.

I whole-heartedly believe God redeems what He allows. I absolutely believe that He takes our mess and makes it our message. I believe He begins new things in skinny places.

God can do anything. Wants to surprise us! His plan is always more than we would have asked for. Different from what we imagined.

Better.

I love how the verse above puts it…He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Not always a thunderous boom. No arm-twisting.

Rather He whispers to our hearts. Plants desire. Gently nudges.

Inside the in between…what was and what can be…is the skinny place.

A squeeze between trust and fear. Between God’s ability and our own. Between what others might think and what we know deep inside.

Between responding to His gentle nudge or shrugging it off.

See, I think He wants to do amazing stuff in every life. I think He’s watching us with compassion and love and a deep, paternal urge to heal us and help us grow. I think He truly longs to amaze us. Fill us. Overwhelm us with joy. I think when we live amazed and full and joyful it spills out into the lives around us.

How do you respond in the skinny place?

Is He whispering to your heart? Nudging you forward?

To a new place? A new way? A new thing?

An unexpected turn?

Maybe you feel the squeeze deep inside. The tightness of indecision pressing on your heart. Maybe you resist because others won’t understand. Because even you don’t understand.

May I encourage you?

The skinny place is delicate…we choose to trust and follow or turn away in a matter of moments. We believe and embrace His whisper or miss out on this more than we can imagine or guess or request.

It doesn’t simply land on us. Doesn’t arrive with clear-cut instructions and a map. We move into it…take steps forward…listen for direction at every intersection. Trust His goodness.

Saying yes in the skinny place means taking His hand. Being led into the unknown but by the One who knows. Letting go of everything else…opinion, practicality, uniformity.

Passing through the skinny place changes your life.

Changes your future.

Changes you.

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