Hi everyone. Rob here.
At the moment a song from Sting is going through my mind. It has the refrain “How fragile we are, how fragile we are.” How true that is. At any given moment many of us are just a step or two away from feeling overwhelmed or resentful or angry or despairing. We’re holding life together but our grip is tenuous. A bout of ill-health, a family death, a financial setback or problems at work can send us over the edge. When we’re hanging on like this our life becomes riddled with anxiety, we desire more control and we come to desperately desire relief or release. Relief is numbing and release is exploding. Neither gives us life. What we need is restoration.
Restoration comes when the order of things is put right. Think of a messy room made tidy again or the accounts sorted out. For us who belong to Christ, restoration comes when we are led by the Spirit and not the sinful nature. By the sinful nature I mean the old self, the old heart and the old lies. The old self was all about the self. “It’s all about me,” “It’s all up to me,” “I’ll take care of myself.” Satan feeds this selfish thinking because it always ends up in either pride, shame or both. It ends up with us pushing God away.
Being led by the Spirit is a deliberate choice to remember that in Christ our hearts have been made new and the Father and Son have made their home there through the Spirit. We remember that Christ rescued us, God is for us and we can trust him with our lives. It means deliberately giving our lives over to God every day and taking our place in the work of Christ.
Indulging the sinful nature means denying our fragility. It means pretending that we are stronger than we are, more capable than we are of controlling our destiny. The problems come when it all goes wrong, which it inevitably does at some point. If we’re in control then we’re to blame. Self-indulgence very easily becomes self-loathing.
Being Spirit-led is to acknowledge our fragility and recognise our need for God to protect us, help us, strengthen us and guide us. It is to acknowledge that we belong to him as sons and daughters belong to their Father. It means that at our weakest, at our worst, at our most vulnerable we are not alone and we are not condemned. Christ has come for us. We are loved beyond measure. The Father’s arms are wide open and the Spirit invites, in that moment, to open our arts to his love. As Mercy Me sing in their song “Undone,”
In brokenness comes beauty
Reminding me of nail scarred hands
Reaching out for me
With fragility comes beauty. Our invitation is not to resent or resist our fragility but to name it and offer it to the God who gives us strength. As Jesus said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
God doesn’t want us to be strong without him. It leads to independence and that leads to vulnerability before Satan’s attacks. Offering our fragility to God though, enables him to be our strength. He becomes our source of restoration. We can’t receive from others until we make ourselves open and vulnerable. That is what the Spirit is inviting us to be like – open and vulnerable so that we can receive Christ’s life. That act of fragility will lead to beauty, strength and life.
Blessings. May this song from Mercy Me help to restore your hearts today.