The Gain of Losing
For over a month now my spirit seems unsettled and living on the edge of something I can't quite understand. This particular discomfort is like looking over your shoulder and expecting something or someone to be behind you but finding only your imagination at work. Not creepy but puzzling just the same. It seems to be a mixture of anticipation and uncertainty... throwing in a dash of curiosity and you have a hint of what I'm feeling lately. Not "bad" but uncomfortable, not anxious but so "not sure" of why I'm feeling this way.
And I'm OK with that.
It could be connected to being husband, father, brother, pastor and the array of different responsibilities they all contain. Combine responsibilities with difficulties, struggles and worries and you might just have the right cocktail mix to intoxicate a spirit with un-ease.
Yet, I don't think so... it's deeper than that... maybe I'm just disturbed.
I feel dragged in a different direction than what I'm accustomed to, pulled away from the mechanical and self-driven pistoned responses (the things that revolve around me) to life. These eroding forces combine their efforts to expose the deepest part of who I am... quite effectively I may add.
When God messes with me, He reveals stuff! This may not be good for keeping my ego intact but it's crucial for growing as a human being and more importantly, growing closer to Him.
A covenant relationship with God requires disclosure, a transparency that He is already acquainted with, since He knows my frame. The disclosure is for my sake, I need to see through myself and allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in that discovery. This disturbance pilgrimage yields hidden places that need surrender, a holy sacrifice offering my heart up in new ways. His love purifies and refines my heart and helps me re-find the lost treasure my heart is.
Finding my heart again is one reason I believe God messes with me. My heart is valuable to Father God, He fought for it, and He redeemed it and made it alive again. This search and rescue mission proves the value of my heart and helps make sense of the time when I feel so restless.
My heart is restless because it is hungry. I am losing (thankfully) my grip on the things that cause my heart to drift and lose it's appetite for more of God. The disruption of my life by a Holy God, messes with me... this shaking, a sacred disturbance of what I thought was important only to discover the shallowness of that mindset. When my "normal" is challenged by the Father, the false harmony of my life is revealed, the tune unrecognizable from the arrangement God had intended my life to sound like.
We have a God who grants us independence —free will— but asks and desires that we depend on Him, so that we can experience life with Him. For me, restlessness is a craving for His order in my life, a hunger for more of Him and for my Father to re-tune my heart to resonant with His. It's this huge opportunity to lose myself in the wonder of His love and gain the freedom my soul desperately needs to.
This is what we gain by losing.
Jesus has a different vision of maturity: It is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go. - Henri Nouwen
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
I wonder…what do you think we gain by losing?