Hi everyone! First to introduce myself to many of you, my name is Lauren Bahorich. I am one of the leaders for our current RECESS Houston group. I want to share some of the work God has been doing in my heart and mind this week because of worship and Kallie’s word to us on Monday night. I hope that it will leave you as encouraged to just BE and receive God’s love as it has encouraged me today. Here goes:
Monday morning I was taking a shower, which is always my favorite time of day. Our shower has a window in it that overlooks our side-yard and the oak trees on the other side of our fence. During this particular shower, the sun was slanting so beautifully through the trees outside the window. I was pretty spell-bound, wishing I could sketch the trees and leaves and sunshine to capture their simple beauty. But my eye caught this one particular leaf that had caught the early morning sunshine just right and was radiating. The leaf truthfully looked like it was glowing! And then, because the shower window was fogged-up, the shining leaf had a rainbow halo surrounding it. I stared and wasted water for a few minutes.
As Kallie was teaching last night on Philippians 3 (“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”), I heard that whatever are gains to me are THREATS to the work that Christ died to complete in and through me. Whatever strengths I think I possess, whatever fleshly credentials I rely upon are THREATS to Christ in me.
And just when Kallie shared how the RECESS leaders tossed their list of fleshly/earthly credentials and strengths in the fire this summer, some things started to click for me. I have always relied upon my mind. I am logical and rational (to a fault according to my mother), though God has been teaching me to engage my emotions too. It is easy for me to look into a messy situation and quickly find the thread that will pull us out of the mess. But, man, the past few months, my mind has been a chaotic, emotional mush-pile. It’s like my ability to think through any situation, to respond rationally, to see God’s plan in the midst of the darkness has completely evaporated, and I have been left desolate, insecure and grasping.
But God whispered last night that He’s here. I no longer need to run after those strengths I used to find comfort and peace in. And in that moment, I saw the radiating leaf with the rainbow encircling it. I realized the leaf I saw in the natural yesterday was a heart-shape leaf and felt the promise for my heart. But rather than praying the prayer the old me would have prayed – Lord, heal my heart so it shines like that leaf – the prayer that did come out of my lips surprised me. I prayed that God would be my glowing, rainbow heart. I don’t want God to heal my heart so my heart can shine on its own. I want HIM to shine through my heart. I don’t want to pray that God would strengthen me but that God’s strength would be on display in me. “Abba Father, be my strength rather than make me strong.”
My focus has always been heal me of this, change my heart of that, take this thorn from me. But that’s not the point! My own strength is not the point. Because His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor 12), my humility to allow God to be strong through me, rather than insisting I be the strong one, is the point.
To end, I want to leave you with three verses that have been on repeat in my heart and head this break. Our trust in God rests on His unending love. Even when we’re called to wait and wait and wait some more as David is in Psalm 40 below, we can keep our mind set, steadfast on the promises that He’s given us. Our reward for our trust and steadfastness of mind is perfect peace even in the waiting.
Psalm 52:8 (Passion Translation)
But I am like a flourishing olive tree,
anointed in the house of God.
I trust in the unending love of God;
His passion toward me is forever and ever.
Because it is finished
I will be praising you forever and giving you thanks.
**I can trust in God because of His unending love.
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
**I’ve been so convicted to keep my mind steadfast, anchored to the one thing I know – His unending love.
Psalm 40:1-3 (Passion Translation)
I waited and waited and waited some more;
Patiently, knowing God would come through for me.
Then, at last, he bent down and listened to my cry.
He stooped down to lift me out of danger
From the desolate pit I was in,
Out of the muddy mess I had fallen into.
Now he’s lifted me up into a firm, secure place
And steadied me while I walk along his ascending path.
A new song for a new day rises up in me.
With much love,