I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. —Jeremiah 31:3 NLT
Lord, sometimes I just can’t draw enough of your love into myself. I yearn to be a sponge who soaks up all of you, and yet at the same time I hold up a wall to protect the last vestige of who I am. I don’t want to lose me, but at the same time I want to gain you. In my struggle to let go, you bring me to the dark night of my soul, and I am backed into a corner. A narrow opening slowly appears, and you ask me to let go of all I own—to lay down the gifts you have imparted—the ministries that you have allowed me to have. You ask me to lay down rights and your purpose in my life. There is not enough room to carry everything with me through that opening. You tell me to lay it all down and enter into your presence through that narrow way. I own nothing. Not even all that you have given and called me to do for you.
I sit in my dark corner knowing what you ask, but unable to lay down all of me so that I might discover all of you. I have asked you to break me of anything that holds me back, and then I fight when you try to break me. Just how much of you do I really want, Lord? Just how hungry am I? I know you wait to fill me continually again and again. I know you wait for me to give up everything, and move forward through the only way you have called me. I don’t realize that in laying everything down to go through this narrow opening—I don’t realize that when I pass through that narrow way and come into your presence, I will receive more of you, because I will have left all of me behind. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You laid down your life for me. You ask me to lay down all I own—all of who I am—all I think I am—all my rights to know or understand—to know just you. You beckon me through that narrow opening. You draw me with love. Fear of letting go will not defeat me.
I move forward. I let go—stripped of all but my hunger for all of you. As I move through that opening and come out on the other side you are there—waiting full of joy and glory. And in your presence—when who I am and what I have owned no longer matter, you restore all that I have laid down. You fill me to overflowing with a depth of peace and joy that I have never experienced. You fill me with power so that I may share you again and again. I receive all of you and ask you to continually crucify all of self in me. I receive your power so that I might share your love with those who are starving. It is in giving up myself that I receive all of you to give.
Lord, keep me stripped of self so that I might be filled again and again with all of you. Don’t ever let me retreat to that corner informing you of all I own. The opening is always before me—asking me to lay everything down. Let nothing stand in your way in my life—least of all me.
© 2017Lynn Lacher