“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
There is such incredibly good news hidden in this verse! And I can hardly wait to share it with you!
But while we’re waiting (may I whisper?) the hardest – and the best – part of writing is the living of it. While I’m working toward the end of the month deadline for completing my study, Rational Worship: Offering Ourselves to the God of Mercy, I’m finding myself in the midst of perhaps the worst flare of my illness in the past two years. It’s not fun. But it’s good. It’s forcing me to ask the really important questions:
- What does it look like to offer my body to God when I’m struggling to drag myself out of bed? (And why would he want a body like this anyway?!)
- Where’s the grace in each verse, in each day’s study? (If it’s not enough to get me through the day, it’s not ready to offer to you.)
- Why is it rational to offer myself to God again when I’ve done that and now I’m here?
I’m asking, and He’s answering. And most of that will be posted here in a few weeks, all ready for you to dig in and discover the grace for yourself.
But in the meantime, what does it look like to offer as a sacrifice to God eyes that refuse to focus and a body that’s limp and light-headed and nauseated? Does it mean pushing through the pain to keep writing? Stopping to listen and rest? Some other mysterious something in between? I asked Him once more on Saturday. And finally I understood. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, no formula that fits every day. Because to apply a formula would be to miss the whole point.
Every moment is an invitation into relationship.
There’s no way to get around that.
(And I’m not looking for one!)
There’s no formula. Just a question. “Jesus, how do you want to be with me in this place?”
Sometimes he invites me to put my head on his lap and rest. (Some of the best insights come during those times.)
Sometimes to give the work a go for an hour (Often, then, he meets me in it with such grace that I don’t want to stop.)
Not once have I heard Him say “Just suck it up and get on with it.” (That voice is mine. But He’s teaching me to be gentle with this one that He loves.)
Always the question is the same: ‘Jesus, how do you want to be with me in this place?” And while the answer is always unpredictable and sometimes wildly surprising, there’s one part of it that never changes: “Come closer.” And when I can’t hear the rest of His answer? The invitation then is to trust, to know that this One whose perfect goodness and unfailing love has been pursuing me all my life is still, always, calling me to come. And He will lead me home, deep into His heart.