This blog post won’t serve as an end all authority of what submission must look like in the body of believers, nor will it be my stance on authority and submission inside the context of marriage…I’m still working both of those out. However, I want to share some initial thoughts on what it means to be personally submissive to Christ.
Ever had your life flipped upside down in an instant? Literally not know which way was up–who you could trust and who you couldn’t? Has there ever been a point in your life that you had no way to predict your schedule from one day to the next because of the next potential crises or hurdle around the bend? If you are alive and sitting in front of a computer, then my guess is many of you can relate.
Four years ago, my life did that unexpected twist-turn. It started, ostensibly, with my husband spending a month away from my one-year-old daughter and me. There had been lots of distance between he and I that last year, things were disintegrating and it seemed like neither one of us wanted to try and figure out just what that gap was. It was a deep, ugly and selfish gap. One of us was trying to fill it up with mom-duties and the other was trying to fill it with a person who offered the acceptance, love and patience that I neglected to.
Then things really and truly did take a downward spiral–and when I got done falling, I was caught in two very strong and capable outstretched arms. Arms that belonged to a Savior, who, two thousand years ago invited little children onto his lap, arms that swept money and trinkets and cages of birds off tables in the temple court in an act that may be labeled as fury, but, more that anything else should be called righteous, and arms that extended to a man named Thomas so he could see the nail scars on his hands–after all he had gone through, the pain, the ridicule, beyond-belief physical suffering, it was that important to Jesus for this doubting disciple to see the nail prints, to really and truly believe.
There is this unspoken assumption that if we no longer speak of it, we are no longer dealing with it, or hurt by an incident, that the ache isn’t still there. Honestly, I wanted to write about this because #1 I am amazed at God’s all-sufficiency to heal me, to really and truly make my heart whole again, I didn’t have to fill it up with other stuff, He really is everything and I am so grateful. #2 I still have issues. Can I get an “Amen!”? Issues of trust, vanity, selfishness, pride, I have a long way to go until I’m all there.
I’ve found these holy God-arms have assumed various roles through these last four years:
sheltering, buffeting me against attacks
guarding me from certain, dangerous, even stupid situations I put myself into
leading me to amazing places, meeting people I would have never thought I’d have the privilege of knowing
using his Holy Spirit to do only “God things” in other peoples lives
cradling me when I was so weary, I could only collapse
I don’t have the time, nor you, reader, the patience, I’m sure to read the list I could compile with the specifics of His love, but I will say this:
These arms have accepted me:
No matter what I’ve looked liked
No matter what I’ve done in the past
Whether I volunteered my time enough, gave enough, showed up enough, called enough–He made it known that it’s only His grace that’s sufficient in my life
They’ve wanted nothing out of me, except maybe, my surrender…
The tail-end of this post made me think of my own butterfly observation. For some reason, I saw a ton of ’em out today, all different shapes, sizes, colors, but the last one I saw this evening came as I waited for the apartment gates to open. It flew in front of my car as the wood board lifted and the huge metal gate with slats at least 5 inches apart (big enough that a skinny cat could slink right through). But the butterfly didn’t take that skinny-cat route, just as the gates were parting, she fluttered in between the opening of the two gates, like she had been waiting all along for me to let her in.
Could she be grace?