In my journaling and study recently, God keeps prompting me with this word: Abandon. It sounded sort of daunting at first... my mind goes to abandoned houses, things left behind, my teenage years... So many things that prompt me to fear what He's telling me. But I press in, because I truly believe that knowing what God has to say to me is worth it.
I'm still diving into Luke 9:57-62, which in my tried and true NIV is a section entitled "The Cost of Following Jesus". This text is about living radically, and Jesus calls us to give up comforts, agendas, and even our yesterdays. His call is to stop hanging on to the things that keep us tethered to this place and to look forward to his Kingdom. I was also reading in Hebrews, and chapter 11 verses 8-10 talks about the faith and obedience of Abraham. It says "he lived in tents... For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." I was thinking about his 'tents' as it pertains to my own 'abandon'. God was his permanent city, so he lived in a temporary home on earth.
I have to abandon my roots in the ground, my hands clinging to stuff because it's not mine. And it's not permanent. 1 John 2:17 says "the world and its desires pass away...". Then yesterday I came upon this quote by Jean Nicolas Grou, and this idea of abandon in a more figurative way came to mind again.
"When in his mercy God leads a soul in the higher path of sanctification, he begins by stripping it of all self-confidence, and to this end he allows our own schemes to fail, our judgement to mislead us. We grope and totter and make countless mistakes until we learn wholly to mistrust ourselves and to put all our confidence in him."This quote reminded me just how temporary it all is. And that the only way in which we can be left not grasping at straws is if we remain tied to the only One who has roots enough to hold us. God wants to strip me of everything that ties me to this world, to myself even, and admit that apart from Him I can do nothing! I am reminded of Jesus speaking in John 15 of the vine and the branches. So what am I clinging to? What am I confident in that is temporary and will keep me from being truly rooted in the Vine? Is it my kids? My voice? My checkbook?
Praying today to learn to let go... and that you who are on this journey with me will too if you need to. Is this lesson just for me?