Most people would be disappointed to arrive in Hawaii and wake up to rainstorms and wind. Then again, since when am I most people? It’s been cloudy and rainy for the past 48 hours and it has been a kind of permission to sit and do nothing. My normal operation, if it was sunny and clear and the waves were up, would be to make sure I got as much time in the ocean as possible, and do this and do that. So I welcome the rain. It is quite something, too, since I haven’t seen a tropical rain in years…plus, it is green here (the foliage, not the rain)…Colorado has and will be brown for months.
The question God seemed to pose to me this morning that is simply exposing is along the lines of: “How badly do you want it?”
He says in psalm 37, “Open up before [Me], keep nothing back, [I’ll] do whatever needs to be done: [I’ll] validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.” There is an intimacy in the “open up and keep nothing back.” To do so feels exposed in a way most of us don’t like to do exposed. Which provokes the question, “why?” Why does he want this? And if you think about it, it’s not like you are exposing anything he doesn’t already see. So, why?
Could it be, (I think yes) that the exposure is for our good?
And what will be exposed? I so easily go to all those things I think I should be chastised for, condemned or ashamed. Yet, that’s me, not HIM. So what will be exposed? If He is going to validate and approve it, then would it not be something akin to beautiful and authentically us? Would what is exposed be this strength, this person who I really am and am often afraid to believe is possible or real?
It reminds me why Macdonald spoke of the name on the white stone as something we receive AFTER we have “overcome.” Because if we received it before hand, we wouldn’t buy it. We would dismiss it out of hand before the words even stopped their echo.
So, how badly do you want it?
The cost is more like losing your expectations – since most of our expectations are towards the accusational and shamed-based. God isn’t withholding because he is displeased or mean. He is withholding because he wants the best and knows I won’t receive it until I am willing to let go of my means to dismiss it. What a clever One he is.
And what’s so revealing even here, is that many will read all this and think they have to work hard at not expecting the worst, or if they only had enough faith kind of bullshit. It’s not a matter of quantity. It’s a matter of honesty.
To receive is to receive and there is no work involved in that other than letting fall to the ground all you expect…