There is so much that must die in us in this life.
It starts with a thought, a consideration, perhaps a calling. It starts at an altar, a dinner table, a non-descript plush seat in a sanctuary.
It starts with ‘Surely not me, I could not live that life’ or a ‘No thank you, God, I am very happy here in my American (or your home country) life.’ It starts with imagining a very different life, very far away, filled with possibilities and challenges.
It starts with laying things on an altar and offering them, one by one, to the Lord.
It happens very quickly in the transition process that we realize we have to put to death things we didn’t imagine we would have to. We didn’t realize how the time change would mean we could only talk to our parents for a four-hour window every day. We didn’t realize how we would cry after closing the laptop following a video call seeing new babies, meeting our sister’s boyfriend, or hearing devastating medical news from a friend. We didn’t imagine we would have to re-learn how to grocery shop or drive. We didn’t imagine we’d feel stupid and helpless in the most routine of daily tasks.
So we begin putting to death the things we held dear. We comb through our hearts looking for anything, everything we have loved. We bring it to the altar in 25-gallon plastic bins. We turn our empty palms toward the heavens and whisper, “Yet we trust you … yet we trust you …”
It seems to go on forever, this period of adjustment, of putting things to death. Sometimes even after years the things we have sacrificed hurt our hearts—they pull our hearts in different directions until it is unbearable.
But, as Paul said, we do not grieve as those who have no hope.
We are a resurrection people.
We are a people who gladly sacrifice the things we held most precious for the cause of a resurrected Savior. And that resurrection means that all that has been dead in us must be brought back to life.
I don’t know when it happens—I don’t know exactly when it happened for me—but one day you look at your life overseas and realize God is bringing back to life the things you thought were dead. It becomes evident that even as we preach Christ resurrected, the power of the resurrection revives things in us that seemed so dead we didn’t dream they would be brought back to life.
There are always hard days—but there are days when the refreshing of our tired hearts is so real, so evident, that there is no denying it. We can’t plan it and we can’t force it. We are reliant on God to bring this revival in us, just as we trust him for our provision and our paths. And he is faithful to refresh us—as he always has. As he always will.
What is being brought to life in your heart? What things did you think were dead but have come back to life?
This is The Grove and we want to hear from you! You can link up your blog post, or share your practices, ponderings, wisdom, questions, ideas, and creative expressions with us in the comments below.
Share your images on this week’s theme with #VelvetAshesRefresh. You can add yours!