Thursday, June 14, 2012


So I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours.
  (The Stand)
We sang this last night, standing in the Chapel on the Base, brothers and sisters in Christ, my fellow workers in this ministry He has called us to.  Some days it still feels so unreal that this is my life, serving and sharing and living here in the DR!

Abandoned can mean forsaken or deserted, but also unrestrained or uncontrolled.  If you think about it, both fit.  Our hearts, the place of our desires, wants, needs, are abandoned, emptied out, so that they can be filled with the desires/wants/needs of our loving Father.  That's not always easy for me! 
Abandoned also means living a life without restraint or control.  It means living with open hands.  This is not easy for me, either. 

I recently read a short book by Tim Keller called The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness.  In it, he talks about living with ‘gospel-humility’.  He says that “…the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.”

This isn’t about ‘high’ or ‘low’ self-esteem.  It doesn’t mean hating ourselves or being ‘self-actualized’.  Instead, it means we can stop fretting about ourselves because we know that our value, our salvation, is secure in Christ. 
This means others’ opinions of us – and our own, too! - don’t really matter.  All that matters is who God says I am, and that is defined by Jesus’ blood on the cross.
I’ve been pondering this a lot the past couple of days.  What would it be like to live like this?  To shut up the constant inner dialogue that analyzes and sifts through each encounter, each experience?  (And yes, I realize the irony of blogging about being ‘self-forgetful’!) 

What would it be like to simply live, open to whatever God brings?  The truth is, being in my own head is just plain old exhausting.  The Holy Spirit is inviting me to freedom and rest.  
I have been blessed to know abandoned, surrendered, self-forgetful people.  Those people who make you feel like you’ve truly been heard.  Who are willing to say hard things because they love you more than they are worried about you being mad at them. 
When I spend time with someone like this, I feel as if I’ve been with Jesus.  His light shines through them, and they radiate joy and tranquility. 
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  (Galatians 2:20) 

This is the life we are called to live, invited to live.  Or, in truth, it’s the life we’re called to not live!  Surrendering it all, so that the One who gave it all, lives in me.  Only in His love and power is this possible. 

And, because we’re still here ‘in the body’, it’s something I need to choose to do each day.  Like picking up my cross, an abandoned, self-forgetful life is a daily choice.  It means living with hands open to whatever God is doing, whatever He will do.  Yeah, it’s kind of scary, but, oh, it’s also where the only freedom, the only joy, is to be found. 
Arms high, hands open, heart abandoned… Father, I am in awe of Your love.  I am in awe of what You are teaching me.  May I live -  No, may I die, each day, so that Christ can live in me.

1 comment:

  1. Love this; thanks. Self-forgetfulness sounds like such a relieving way to look at this concept--thinking of myself in a "lower" way doesn't ever seem to stick, but thinking of myself LESS sounds like a great way to get away from the noise in my head and to start getting things done (things of all sorts--spiritually valuable and to-do list valuable)! It can be so exhausting to be in my head (sorry--your word, but so true!). Thanks again for sharing!