Do you remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls the curtain back revealing the "Great and Powerful Oz" and he turns out to be a short bald guy? I felt like the short bald guy today.
There is a song that has recently captured my heart called Times, by Tenth Avenue North. It is a beautiful exchange between someone afraid to face God because of what they have become, and Jesus singing back that His love is over, it's underneath, it's inside and it's in-between, reminding me He has always and will always be there. The song takes me back to the end of the "dark days" in my life, when I was sure that I had lost my chance at a relationship with Jesus, the days I attended church service up in the balcony hoping no one would notice someone like me.
Today, though, as I was listening to the song, the lyrics "I'm tired of defending what I've become, what have I become" just bonked me right over the head. The Holy Spirit stared me down and said, "Why do you think you have it all together now?" Lately, what I've become is someone who thinks they have it all figured out, and it is up to me to make it work. Sometimes I feel like I know just enough to be dangerous.
God is not random, though. I had this mini-revelation and repentance sitting in the parking lot waiting to go to Inspire U at Elmbrook. The stripping away of my know-it-all shell continued with the worship time, singing The Stand by Hillsong..."I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all."
Singing that song, fresh on the heels of recognizing the slippery slope I was on, just about broke me. I gave control back, again, to the only One who should have it.
Yes, God gives gifts and promises, but not to show us how cool we are. He gives us these things to help us grow in relationship with Him, to allow us the privilege of serving Him more fully, but we should never make the mistake of worshiping the gift. Once again, today, I found myself crying out to Him, just lead me. Wherever it is, I will follow. The focus was taken back off me and placed squarely on God, who I am privileged to serve in whatever capacity He asks me to.
At the same time He humbled me today, He showed me that He is leading me. A woman sat next to me in a breakout session and asked me if I was one of the speakers today. I have no idea why she would have asked that, but I smiled with a twinkle in my eye that God put there, and said, "Not yet." It was like God said, "Yeah, I know you get a little full of yourself, but I can still use you. I haven't forgotten about you." So, I'll continue to stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all, I'll stand, my soul surrendered, and wait.
Once again, the curtain has been pulled back, the smoke and mirrors put away, and it is just me. I was reminded today of how small I am, but mostly, of how big God is. Totally in awe.