I shared with a friend today that I’m in a season of being stripped bare of everything I cling to. I feel the Holy Spirit at work in ways I’ve not experienced before. I’m not sure if it’s stuff He needs me to work through relating to my move to the D.R., or if it’s something else entirely. All I know is, it’s kind of freaking me out, and here’s why:
There’s that scene in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (not a movie plug, I promise!!) where Eustace (as a dragon) meets the great lion Aslan. Aslan invites Eustace to remove his scaly dragon skin. Eustace happily scratches away one layer, and it feels marvelous. But looking down, he notices he’s still covered in scales. This happens again… and then again, and Eustace sees that all his work trying to remove the skin has been “no good”.
Finally Aslan tells him that he will have to “undress” Eustace. Eustace tells Edmund later: “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt.”
I’ve been scratching away little bits of stuff in my life, but it’s all been ‘no good’. I’m beginning to realize that what’s needed is not a gentle buffing, but a firm, strong ripping away. I hear Jesus inviting me to allow Him to ‘undress’ me. Only He can remove all these layers that I’ve built up. But, I’m scared that the tear will go right into my heart. Right into what I have held onto and hidden so long. In fact, I’m pretty sure this process is going to hurt worse than when I first started growing those thick, hard, protective layers.
Eustace says that even though he was afraid of Aslan’s claws, he was “pretty nearly desperate now”. I’m starting to feel that way. Between my thorn, confronting unfinished grief with my mom’s death and my divorce, and this whole process of ending one chapter and preparing for another, my life is feeling kind of pretty nearly out of my control. You know, perhaps that is why the Spirit is moving in me and all of this is happening. To bring me to a place of desperation which only Jesus can heal.
In the end Eustace is left pink and smooth and tender, a boy once again. He bathes in a fountain, and while the water smarts at first, it’s only for a moment, and then it becomes “delicious”. Am I willing to go through the pain to get to that delicious moment of being renewed?
And once again, I find myself on familiar ground - Do I trust God enough to lead me through this? Do I trust Him enough to tear away whatever it is that is keeping me held captive in this scaly shell? Do I trust that He is working, not in spite of the pain, but in it? Holy Spirit, outside of You, I cannot trust. Teach me to trust, teach me to surrender, teach me the joy of delicious renewal in You!