Ministry Resources

Ministry Resources
Ministry Resources

An Open Invitation to Release

I sit with my head cupped in my hands on the back row of the balcony overlooking the seats below.  My eyes scan the crowd of women with their hands lifted high in praise and hope.  Some of them are desperate to know you.  Some of them are struggling to hear your voice, to feel you.  But you are there with them. 

Some women lend their arms as encouragement as they physically pour themselves over the others.  These women know you well.  They have seen your glory.  They have seen your love drip down from the cross onto them and they know the importance of this moment.  They encourage the others to embrace your love.

This is the moment for many, when they will finally know you.  When they will acknowledge that all of them needs every bit of you.  And I’m supposed to have my head bowed and my eyes closed.  Because this moment, it’s so very intimate and personal. 

And yet I watch. I cannot tear my eyes away.

I watch them unhinge their chains.  I watch them cry out in release.  I watch them accept their new identity.  They are Yours. They are made new.

The speaker continues the invitation by inviting those of us who already know you to release the things that hold us back from wanting you more.  I try to hear your voice over the piano that’s playing softly, yet the sound magnifies on the strings of my heart.  She invites us again to let go.  To release.  To give the thing over that we hold so closely.  The thing we put above you.

I know what the thing is.  You know it well too.  Women all around me are releasing their chains to you, and yet I sit frozen.  I sit chained to my seat, chained to my sin.  Chained to my past.  Chained to the things I know keep me from chasing you harder.

I do not feel you and yet I know you are there.  I cannot hear you but I feel you press in on my heart.  I think I feel you telling me to wait.  That this isn’t the place you want to meet me at.  You want me to let the thing go, but it’s not the time. And so I don’t.  I cling to it tightly because I know that soon you will ask me to do the hard thing and let you have it. 

And so for these last few moments I hold onto it.  I hide it in my heart.  I know it is coming.  I know that soon you will call me to the scary waters, and it’s not a place I want to go willingly.

Later I am at home.  It is quiet.  It is peaceful.  There are no fancy stage lights and no decorations.  Just you. 

I check on the girls one last time before grabbing my bible and meeting with you on the couch.  At first I feel silly.  I don’t know where to start and I think I have heard you wrong.  I open up my bible to the psalms because that’s where I always go if I don’t know where to go.  The scripture I read doesn’t make sense to me at first.  It is all about David’s sin and confession and the pledge for you to take it away from him. 

He has slept with Bathsheba.  He has killed Uriah.  He is in a bad desperate place.  And I wonder what I’m supposed to do with this.  This isn’t right I think.  This was nothing like the moment at the conference earlier. 

But you keep at me.  You tell me that I’m missing it.  To dig deeper. 

And so I do.  I don’t know what I’m doing or what you’re trying to tell me but I know it’s something.  Something big.

I start talking to you out loud.  I hardly ever do this.  I try to be quiet because I don’t want to wake the girls up.  But the pain of the thing I can’t seem to escape and your quiet mercy has tears pouring down my face and me lifting up your name in praise. 

I know that it’s the time.  Here is where you wanted to meet me.  In the quiet.  In the dark place.  In the honest place.  No music.  No pressure.  No one else but you and me.

And you direct me to a scripture that absolutely blows my mind.  I have read it many times before but tonight I notice something different.  Something brand new.  I feel you there.  Revealing to me that it’s time to start trusting you more.  Time to start living the life you’ve called me to live. 

Suddenly I put two and two together.  You show me through your word that I cannot keep pushing past you and going before you.  You reveal to me that I need to let go of the thing in order for you to heal me and in return help heal others. 

I understand.  My breath can hardly catch up with the tears as I confess to you that I have no idea what I’m doing.  I want this thing, this chain taken from me, so I can move forward and do the scary kingdom stuff with you. 

I speak life to the thing you are showing me and I ask if I’m right.  Is this what you’re telling me?  Is this the healing that needs to happen first?  I don’t hear verbal confirmation.  I hear the silence and the distant buzzing of the baby monitor. 

But I am confident I have heard you correctly.  That now, after the acknowledgement comes the hard work, the healing work.  And you show me that this is how you do things.  You take ordinary people and reveal the hard places in our hearts, the things that keep us from you, that hold us back from a life unhindered in you and you make them beautiful. 

This is scary.  This is exciting.  I feel relief.  I feel like you’ve let me in on a secret.  But it’s not a secret. It is your love and how you reveal yourself to us time after time.  I immerse myself in what you have revealed to me.  I ask you to confirm it.  So I am sure.  I tell you that if this is not from you to close the door.  Don’t let me think about it anymore. 

But if it is from you, if this is really the answer to what I’ve been asking you for, I ask you to not let me shake it.  I tell you not to let up on me about it.  I hear no audible voice or strong confirmation.  I only feel your presence telling me that you will hold up your end.  You will let me know.  And for the first time in a long time, I feel absolute peace.  I feel complete trust in you. 

I close my bible and go to wash my tear-stained cheeks.  I take a deep breath.  Breathing in every last ounce of you in this moment.  God you are goodYou are so very good.  I want more of these of these honest, raw moments.  The invitation is open.  It is mine.  I am ready. 

1 comment

  1. What a moving and beautiful depiction of a snap shot in your journey with God. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to remember that God is so wonderfully relational and authentic. He really does want to know us and for us to know Him. It's so humbling and flabbergasting at the same time. ~Jennette Ross


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