Thursday, February 21, 2013

To Rely on Jesus

For those of you who are wondering, show week was wonderful. Jane Eyre went so well, and as always, I grew so close to God. Perhaps someday soon I will write about it or post pictures... but not now. I suppose in a way you might say this post is about show week, but I would beg to differ that this post is more about knowing Jesus, and depending on Him - something the Lord has been teaching me, and I hope will bless you as well. The Lord has been laying this on my heart recently, and there is something very specific I want to share with you: depending on Jesus ALL THE TIME.

To start, there are a few things you need to know.

Show week is crazy. It's hectic, it's stressful, and it's altogether chaotic. It is long, it is tiring, it is exhausting. In a way, it’s so easy to trust God during show week. We are exhausted. Running 10-13 hours a day, needing to be absolutely focused, is a lot. Often, sickness hits. Voices begin to falter. Sometimes, confidence does, too. And yet, we trust Him. We have to. There is no way we can get through this without Him. We are so keenly aware of our own weakness, we have to so heavily rely on Him – because there is just no way we can perform this show or get through the long rehearsals or the tiring days, without Him. And as a result, we are so close, oh SO close to Him. Those of you who have been there know. His presence is felt incredibly strongly. He is there. He is WITH US! There are tears, and hugs, and prayers. Oh, so many prayers. It is simply beautiful seeing how much prayer covered everything we did. We were in almost constant communication with Him. And we were so fulfilled. And we loved it. 

But then, it ended. 

Show week is over. We attempt to return to normal life. But it’s so much, oh SO much harder to be as close to God in “real life” as it is in show week. Longingly, we look back and marvel how close we grew to God that week. How much we matured. How much we learned! And we wonder, why is it that we can be so close to God during show week, but as we get back to our normal life, we don’t seem to be as near to Him? Why is there such a drastic difference in our communication with him during show week and "normal life"? For years, I’ve subconsciously wondered at this. Only in the last week or so has it all made sense. In a way I’ve known this all along, but I feel like it was just a stray thought here and there. But in the last week, it all just totally, entirely “clicked”. It’s kind of crazy, and in a way it’s sort of backwards to the way we think. But please, just bear with me. 

We tend to think that it’s great when life is going well. That’s what we all aim for, right? I mean seriously, if you could choose to be going through a really hard trial full of darkness or to fly though life feeling on top of the world, it’s pretty obvious what we would naturally choose. Who doesn’t want to be happy, to have things go well for them? But I think that’s where we falter – is happiness and a "great life" our main goal? I think this is our problem: life often goes well for us. "What?" you're thinking, "That's a problem?!?!" Now, please realize I am in NO WAY attempting to say that life is always smooth sailing. Because we live in a sinful world and we are sinful people. Bad things happen. Sometimes frequently. But I think, especially living in America, we all live relatively easy lives. Here's the sad, incredible, blunt truth: we have no need to constantly rely on God in our day-to-day life. Granted, things come and go, so do trials, but at the end of the day most of us can agree we've had a pretty good, relatively "easy" life. (Please, keep reading, even if you're not having an "easy" life right now. I think it will encourage you.) But during show week, it's different. The intensity of our weakness and lack of strength causes us to completely, absolutely depend on Him. HE is our EVERYTHING. Because we have no strength. We have nothing, so He is our everything. 

This is where it has all started making sense. As much as we all dislike, hate, shirk from, do our best to stay away from, etc, etc, trials and hardships and weaknesses, it is in these places where we find God the most. It is in these places where we draw closest to Him. In these places, He feels nearer to us than ever before. Because in that moment of weakness, we are reminded all-to-readily of our own failing strength. But He is strong, and He uses our weaknesses to show His strength (see 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). I don’t quite know how say this gently, but – as strange as it sounds – I have begun asking the Lord that if it's His will, to bring trials and hardships into my life, because it draws me closer to Him. Because, to be perfectly honest, in our own little world, it can be way too easy to go through a large part of the day and then look back in shock and realize that we didn't spend much time with him or talk to Him or rely on Him or JUST BE WITH HIM for a large part of the day! And so, though I am by NO MEANS perfect at this (I still have a LONG way to go) I am trying to get to the place, where, even in the sameness and "easiness" of life, I am still with Him. ALL THE TIME. 

And so I want to ask you.

If you are going through a relatively "easy" stretch of life, will you join me in seeking to be with Jesus, and learning to rely on Him all the time, even through the sameness?

But also, if you are going through a dark time, will you dare to count it as a blessing? None of us would like bad things to happen, but they do. So will you choose to grow near to God in this space?

Dwelling in Christ,


Angie C. S. said...

Thank you so much for writing this, Elizabeth dear. I am praying right along with you for these things. <3

Lindsey said...

Amen, sweet sister. Show weeks in all their glory bring Jesus so close, so personal. The trials truly do draw us so much closer to Him. I'm with you in praying for what God wants to use to send me running to His arms. Because that's the sweetest place we could ever be.

I've been reading some of Katie Davis's old blog posts (wonder who inspired that? *cough*) and read this one: and it so relates to everything you're speaking about here and what we've been talking about. God is hitting me hard with this message, and I love it. He is good.

I ♥ you.