What Shines Through

Why does following God always seem like it should be more active than it really is? 

When I am following God it always feels more like staying and being, the not-leaving and the not-doing. I leave and do more quickly and readily than I stay and wait and be. Checking boxes leaves me feeling like I amount to something and might be able to do this after all wheras all the passive verbs leave me reliant on God instead of my own posibilities.

Living into each moment of following makes more sense when it’s something you can measure instead of just tension you feel. The leaving and doing more quickly appeal to our own intution of how following our big God should look, but when what feels big to us seems small and scared and “why on earth are you doing that?” to other people it’s harder to explain. People might wonder what you’re really following.

Following God in a small-looking way means we have to focus less on the individual actions and more on the bigger story of what God might be doing in our ignorance of his plans. It is offering up your own knowledge and doubts as a sacrifice of trust in the process of following and feeling for the in-between moments of faith right where you are called to be right now. It means trusting that who you are through God is someone that has the capability of following Him in a completely unique way.

Who can really say what following should feel like? Or look like, for that matter?

Where are the life changing moments that help us to see the depths of God a little more and our own insecurities a little less?

Sometimes they’re accompanied by a terrified exhilaration. A knowing that something is just right and now it’s time. But sometimes not.

You never know what the biggest step or most important step will be. Will it be hard or easy? Will it be something we fought for or over or something that came along peacefully? Will it seem straightforward or do we doubt our every motion? 

Sometimes it’s a scary step in the opposite direction of where you thought you were supposed to be. You follow, but hesitantly, with the sparks on the horizon ever increasing in intensity with each step closer to what might be. 

We are turning the pages of our lives just one at a time so we get the glimpse of what will be, not the fullness of the chapter. And sometimes life is slowed to the heartbreaking pulse-quickening slowness of the stillness of a word. Or sentence. Or maybe a paragraph. And we are left wondering and reaching for each new stroke. Reaching for God in a half-expressed silence.

Whatever the path, small or big moments and decisions, each piece of following adds up to one and the same: God is in it each and every step of the way. 

The following of God is left up to our discretion. Our guidance: the Holy Spirit. Our motivation: love. 

How we get to the undefinable “there” might be a series of small and big steps strung together on spider web of grace, but we will get there not because of the strung together items but simply because of the web. 

Our following is moot and simple. 

His grace is elegant and refractory and wise. 

What can we say in its face? 

Why is the following more slow and simple and less big choices and moves across the country? 

Maybe it’s to let the brilliant gleam of the web shine through. 

Worry a little less. 

Let be a little more.

Let the gleaming woven web take center stage. 

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7 thoughts on “What Shines Through

  1. Waiting is the inception of glory into the believer. There is, of course, a negative waiting of twiddling the thumbs, but I believe you’re thinking of the 40 years that Moses spent on the backside of the desert while Israel cried out in their anguish kind of waiting. Why the backside of the desert? Why not just in the insignificant places in Egypt? There is something that takes place – a transaction of sorts – when we wait in the monotony, in the simply life. Moses wasn’t doing anything, and yet he saw God face-to-face. No one else has such a testimony of closeness to God, unless you consider Jesus’ words regarding John the Baptizer. One word sums it up: Zion. Zion is about being, and from that state of being, doing ushers forth. We come unto an eternal rest, where we cease from our own work, and therefore live in the rest and life of God.
    Grace and peace, and I pray that God might work in you an eternal weight of glory through His rest.

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  2. “When I am following God it always feels more like staying and being, the not-leaving and the not-doing.”

    Yes! This is so true and beautifully expressed. He’s working His perfect patience in us which usually translates “wait on the Lord.” *sigh* sometimes this is hard but I find His grace to be as He promised – sufficient – when I wait for it.

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  3. “Checking boxes leaves me feeling like I amount to something and might be able to do this after all wheras all the passive verbs leave me reliant on God instead of my own posibilities.” This sentence expresses much of what my thinking has been most of my life. I am trying to shift my thinking and do less box checking and more just being. This post was such an encouragement to me. Thank you.

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