Living out loud spiritually just doesn't happen. One cannot just wake up and say "today I am going to live out loud". Well, I suppose you can try but failure is bound to happen. Kind of like a New Years resolution. How many people do you know who have already broken their New Year resolution for 2012?
"Willingness is the lever God can use to change us, but willpower alone cannot do it". ~John Burke, Soul Revolution
Living out loud spiritually takes work. It takes brokenness. It takes being pruned. It takes nurturing.
Living out loud requires experiences that most people, if given the choice, would prefer to do without. Living our loud often requires stepping outside of the box and getting out of your comfort zone. You don't just get there by chance and you don't get there on your own strength.
My favorite flower by far is the rose. I know there are so many other amazing creations of flowers out there but every facet of the rose intrigues me. Not one is the same and its life is fragile.
Roses can resemble our life. Its growth is slow and requires specific nurturing. Each bud eventually blossoms into a beautiful display of our Gardeners touch.
Every fall you have to painfully prune a rose bush back to just a few short inches. I hate this part and love it at the same time. I hate the thorns that eventually stick into my skin during this process but I am also thankful for the beauty I was able to watch all summer long.
If your Christian walk has been anything like mine, there has been plenty of pruning in it. Pruning for things such as stubbornness, selfishness, regrets and sins. Do you think God feels the sting of sadness over the pruning it requires to get "the stuff" out of ones life that keeps them from His Holiness?
Following the pruning of the rose stems, the bush must go through a season of hibernation. So often a Christian finds themselves is a season that feels like hibernation. A season that resembles emptiness, silence or closure. Usually when we enter this time, this valley, this darkness as some have called it, we enter it without trying to. Most will get frustrated, depressed, maybe even angry for being there. It often follows a mountain top experience or a chaotic event.
Over the years I have learned to view this hibernating season with new eyes. It doesn't need to be frustrating. The pain can become something worth enduring. I see these hibernating seasons as a waiting time a time meant to grow us. These hibernating seasons sting a little less when you view it as a time of waiting on God.
"A time of waiting on God"...makes it more embraceable don't you think? A season of time of preparing that leads to re-birth. Life may seem too hard, maybe a bit too painful in this season but the reality of this period is preparing us for something greater...a season of re-birth, a season of release, a season of beauty. The more we embrace this seasons of spiritual winter, the more breath-taking greatness of God we will experience.
"If life as you have known it and the path that you have walked seem to be ending, draw especially close to God and He will reveal what your next step is to be". ~ Stormie Omartian, Just Enough Light For The Step I'm On
It is during the seasons of waiting that we are to grow our roots deeper in Him. It is time meant for digging deeper into His Word, memorizing scripture, meditating of His life, learning to depend on Him in a more in-depth way. What may start out painful will blossom and embrace a new and refreshed spiritual beauty. Isn't that our hearts desire anyway?
As the spring comes and we find the hibernating season leaving, we can bloom to be more of what He created us to be. His presence in our life becomes a fragrance that draws others to Him. The sweet aroma of Christ, the beauty of His love, grace and redemption demonstrated through our life, our failures, our short-comings.
"God often allows the hard things to happen in our lives in order to bless us in some way. " ~ Stormie Omartian, Just Enough Light For The Step I'm On
How deep are your roots? What season are you living in? Are your days built in His truths? Is the fragrance of Christ evident in your living? Is you faith growing strong?
My Holy and Sovereign God, you are the most amazing creator. The hands of your work amaze me. As I reflect on your creation of the rose, I am humbled at the details of its existence and how it resembles my own life. I desire to be a rose in your eternal garden, deeply rooted in you. I embrace your seasons of pruning and am thankful for the spiritual growth and the breath-taking fragrance of you that I can live out loud for. May my life worship you like never before. I too am the amazing work of your hands...be glorified in my living.
Living out Loud ~ Pamela