Do You Ever Act Like Adam?

person-691410_640Did you ever act like Adam? Find yourself hiding like great-grandma Eve? Probably not. Maybe I’m the only one.

Recently, I felt like something for five minutes. You know, I felt my potential. Glimpsed my worth.

Then, I read another woman’s blog and it was brilliant. God’s going to use her, not me. That was my thought – or the arrow, anyway, that struck it’s mark. Everything I am, she’s more. Plus, she has more followers. I can just tell. And then, I viewed her About Me page and, of course, she’s thin, so I believe God likes her more.

And I almost shared her post but instead, I crawled into some backroom of my soul and didn’t click. In refusing to make her bigger, I made myself smaller and not in the good way that John the Baptist said “I must become lesser so He becomes greater” but in the bad way that emerged when the disciples fought about who was greater.

Five minutes off a mountain top and I’m worried that the infinite God has a limited stash of grace and this stranger has been granted my portion. What’s wrong with me? Seriously, after a lifetime of following Jesus, What. Is. Wrong. With. Me?

The simple answer would appear to be insecurity but I’m not that insecure. I also have an enemy who whispers lies into my ears as I descend the mountain, makes my hands itch for golden calves and house idols as if they’ve ever been a part of my personal history. But that’s not the whole she-bang.

There’s also my greed. Yes, I want to serve God. Yes, I’m grateful for every life my words touch. Grateful, humbled, and in awe of God’s power. I’m also a glory thief. There, I said it. Sometimes I stand close to God, not for God, but so that some of His light will fall on me, make me visible, heal old wounds of not being seen by tap-dancing in His peripheral spotlight.

Recognizing this, I unload a dump truck of self-condemnation over my own head but God reminds me He baptized me once and I’ve no need to do it hiding-1209131_640again – especially not in this self-stoning way. And I wonder why not long ago I was rocking along secure in Him and now I’m limping like a soldier returning from the front.

I try to hide from God in shame for my greed, ashamed of my weight because it’s a failing, ashamed of my failure to click that woman’s blog and expand her reach for fear it would erode my own. I huddle under the shrubbery of my shame fully expecting Him to find me and issue a scolding that will lead to repentance. How did I get here? A few extra pounds. A broken left foot. Sweltering heat. Weariness. Sin nature.

He catches me off guard. He’s waiting for me in the shrubs. He’s been expecting me to hide and He says, “This isn’t what you think. I’m not angry. I orchestrated this moment. I planned to ambush you on the way down this mountain. You’re more than this. You’re more than what you know to be true on the mountaintop. You’re more than how you feel when those pounds are gone. You’re more than the numbers on your blog. More than how well you stand when your bones are whole. Find your whole self in me. I’m calling you out. I’m calling you to me. Allow me alone to define you so mountaintop or valley, you will be sure-footed in the journey.

Come to me all you who are weary – of trying so hard, of never being enough, of always wanting more, of defending against the enemy’s drone, of limping, of dragging our broken selves around, of an envy ambush descending from the heights.

So, there under that broom tree, I cuddled up to God and agreed with His plan that I should strip off every false identity and find my whole self in Him and since I’d learned the obvious lesson, I figured there was no sense in retracing my steps and sharing that other writer’s blog – you know, because others would like her stuff better than mine. Then, I looked at Him and smiled because, of course, I had to share the blog but not as some sort of punishment or retribution or stale cracker lesson but as a raised fist to the enemy, as another step into my freedom, as a commitment to a greater story, as a step out of the boat.

He wants to show us things we can only see if our eyes are completely on Him. He wants us to color with hues we haven’t even imagined. To write stories we’ve lived well first. child-830725_640To silence the enemy not by plugging our ears but by taking His hand in front of the firing squad and whipping off the blindfold knowing the bullets cannot silence our voices even if they leave us bleeding in the square. He wants us to seek our definition in His dictionary, to look in His wallet and see our photos, find our first attempts to step into our true selves taped to His refrigerator.

I remember cruel words thrown like stones at the forming self of my youth – “What are you, trying to be something?” So I ask Him. Is that wrong? To want to be something?

The lie, He explains, is that I’m not something already. And when He wrestles false notions of myself from my hands, it’s only to free His original design. He doesn’t love us because of what we do. He doesn’t even love us because of what we are. He loves us because of what He is. That loves sees through, that love transforms, that love reveals, that love is the kindest, truest, most pure light. In that light, I shine, I am brilliant, I fluoresce.

Perhaps, I suggest, I should climb out of the shrubbery.

He smiles and stretches out His hand to me. “Let’s go read that writer’s blog and leave a comment to encourage her, “ He suggests.

Why not? I agree as I feel my soul expand.

In what shrubbery are you hiding, loved one?

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16 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Eileen says:

    Love this one Lori!!!! God is a Big Pie person (stole that description from a friend) – Someone else’s slice from God doesn’t diminish His slice for me. There is always more than enough!

  2. Patty Schell says:

    Oh, yes. Right there with you. Funny how even with good intentions and a full view of God we struggle with silly things such as comparison and envy. I am so glad for His patience and mercy. It’s so nice that when I am ready ‘He smiles and stretches out His hand to me’. Yep, I like holding His hand. Thanks, Lori.

  3. camy says:

    Right between the eyes. Thanks once again for your transparency.

  4. Cindy Sims says:

    Thank you so much for this post! Hit me right where it hurt, in a good way. I love to write but after reading yours and so many others, I feel as if – what’s the point. Wondering how God could use my efforts. Then I read your post that feels as if it was written just for me. Definitely inspiring!

  5. Linda says:

    Thank you Lori. How do you do that? write about where I’m at, while being transparent, encouraging and wonderfully funny. At this point in life I feel like I should “get it” already instead of hiding out in the shrubbery. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Wow! To the core, real, Lori. This is where our faith is intensely tried and tested. Do we hide or do we live life to the full? I’ve learned from behind the bushes that there will always be a better blogger, a better writer, a better speaker, etc., and someone is always going to be further along on their journey. BUT, I’ve also learned that no one can do what God has called me to do the way He has created me to it. It’s my responsibility to obey whenever and however He calls. We must come out from behind the bushes of shame and discouragement. Thank you for your transparency and encouragement. Blessings on all He’s purposed you to do! ~ Melanie

  7. Ann Knowles says:

    Oh, my, you know me inside out! How did you find out all those things about me? I know. . . God inspired. He wanted me to read this. Thank you, Lori. And may you never stop writing from the heart. The other day I was thinking I’d drop one of my writing assignments because I have so much to do and I was feeling “old” that day. Would you believe it? He sent me seven emails from people telling me how much my devotions had blessed them in May. SEVEN! It’s not unusual to get one or two responses, but I had never had seven in two days before. I knew He was telling me to keep on keeping on in the job He had given me to do. He is awesome!

    • Dana Catlett says:

      This is so wonderful. I love what God does! Our Sunday School class has been studying about temptation and testing for several weeks, and I was asked to substitute teach this past Sunday. I was catching up on your blog posts and saw this one, and it was just so perfect to go along with our lesson on Sunday. I love your honesty!

    • God’s good with timing like that, isn’t He? Blessings, Ann. Don’t stop.