Thursday, March 01, 2007

I am my beloved's and He is mine...

For the past couple of weeks, I've been struggling with feeling significant. Actually, with feeling insignificant. I've been feeling like I don't contribute anything of real value. Not at my church, not in my relationships... not anywhere. It's not new. It's something I've struggled with before, and though I always get past and think I've finally beaten it, it always rears it's ugly head again.

I know that some of the feelings have re-surfaced because of my job at my church. Not because of any negative experiences at my church, in fact, the others on staff there are incredible people and with their help I'm continuing to heal. I'm facing demons leftover from experiences at my previous church. It's good that I'm facing them, but it's painful. By the time I left my old church, I was broken. I was convinced that I wasn't a good leader, a good mentor, or even a very good follower of Jesus. It's taken a couple of years for me to recover and for some of those wounds to heal, but like I said... not all of the demons have been defeated yet.

I'm currently going through a study on the Song of Songs. I highly recommend it. It's one of the best studies I've ever been through and has done more to heal my heart and correct my sense of identity that any other study or message.

The other morning, I went through Session 8 of the study. This particular session focuses on Chapter 2, verses 8-17. It was verse 11 that got me: "See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone." Mike Bickle, who teaches this series, spent some time on this verse, talking about how Jesus is talking to His bride and saying to her "Look, we've made it through the winter and we're still together. We went through it together and you still love Me and I still love you." It was a revelation to me. I know that Jesus was with me through this winter season of hurt and brokenness. But I always envisioned Him as being "with me" in that He was around and available. But... in reality, He took hold of my hand and walked with me. I don't know to explain the understanding I came to except to equate it to a married couple who faces some terrible crisis, but faces it together. When the crisis is over, the couple is stronger, closer than they were before.

Coming to that understanding led me to some other, very significant understandings.
Jesus was with me during a season of barrenness and inactivity. I wasn't involved in ministry, I wasn't actively producing any fruit or building into His kingdom. Anything positive that happened was by default and not through any intentional effort. And even though I wasn't involved, even though I wasn't seeking ways to build His kindgom or produce fruit, Jesus was with me. The Bridegroom stayed with His bride. It gave me a whole new understanding of His love for me and my value as His beloved. It gave me a whole new understanding of my significance and my value. My relationship with Him is personal. Intimate. He loves me regardless of how much or how little "fruit" I'm producing. When I "sat out", He sat out with me. We really are in this together. Like Husband and wife.

It was such an intense revelation and understanding. I cried for 1/2 an hour.

Truly... I am my beloved's and He is mine., S.o.S. 2:16


Blogger John M said...

Remind me to give you some of my Zolder mp3s. There is one where Todd talks about Song of Songs and antoher that talks about Christ as the Bride-groom.

I think they are kind of relevant to what you were talking about here.

1:24 PM  
Blogger JIMMY h said...

Steve gave us a great reminder on Sunday that God is pleased with us before any of our great contributions to the Kingdom.

he used the story of Jesus' baptism in Matthew 3 as an example - after he was baptized, God's voice was heard from heaven proclaiming His love for & pleasure in His only son... this was before ministry had even started!

2:21 PM  

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