The value and preciousness of life is far greater than we comprehend. It takes a mature step of pause…or an abrupt interruption, or unforgiving circumstances…to help us to connect to this reality in any way. And the fact is, many are going through struggles and heartaches all around us and amongst us. The impeded emotion and persistent recollection of our grief creates a wall between us and real touch with our world. We feel isolated inside this false insulation. We feel we have little or no place to turn…
And there is no discrimination of those with successes or failures. All are susceptible to the potential internal embattlement of turmoil and trauma. As a matter of fact, both successes and failures become very similar mocking scoffers echoing voices between the ears at every crack of the heart and every tear that drops through it. We feel we have little or no place to turn…
And I promise, you’re not alone. No matter how much it feels like hardly anyone else around feels the way you or I feel at the moment, or how tender these areas of the heart are. From an outside vantage point, there may be some arenas where we may appear successful, well-to-do, having it all together, even having it ‘all’. It is easy to feel like at some point it is all a game, a show, and that life is just about achieving or attaining certain material things to make us a success or worthwhile, or like we haven’t wasted our time and talents. And we feel we have little or no place to turn…
But there is a place in God…a place with a gate very low and narrow, through which nothing but soul and self fit. It is the ultimate equalizer of life, of both imperfection and success. This place of surrender, this place of relinquishing, this place of yielding, of recognizing the vastness of my incapability, and His ability, and my desperate need of Him on my best day.
There is a place in God…this is what life boils down to, and where it also truly begins, for the first time all over again, and again, and again. Every time I allow myself back in that place, I am refilled within with more than everything…while still in this same frail, fragile, broken vessel I call my life.
As a colleague recently informed me of, emerald is one of the most potentially brittle of all gems. It cracks and fractures easy, and it is not resilient with temperature changes. With imperfections, its appearance dampers to an unattractive cloudiness. Gemologists have tried to find polymers to fill the imperfections, reinforce the strength of the gem, and reconcile the clear green coloring. But they often found it did not help, or even worsened each issue, over time. So they turned back to the ancient practice of soaking them in oil.
Interestingly, the imperfections go almost completely unnoticed, as the missing areas are filled by the oil, and the cloudiness goes away. The deep green hue comes through beautifully.
You are that gem. And God has just that bed of the oil of His grace for you to lay down your guard, your arms, your hurts, your failures, your shame, your guilt, your pride…your self. Come to that place, of surrender, and allow Him to wash out the divots, the fractures, and pour gently into those vacant areas as you soak in Him.
It is interesting to note that the extent of the beauty of an emerald actually relies upon the cracks and imperfections therein…but it is codependent upon the oil to fill those cracks and grace those imperfections for it to be everything that it truly is. And as the gemologists have found, the soaking in oil of emeralds is not a one time work. It must be done regularly.
But let’s start today.