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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Broken Onion

I’m an onion.

I’ve shared before that 2013 has been a year of learning how to DEPEND on God.

Here's what I've learned: Dependence can only come when I release myself into God’s hands (tweet please). 

But Dependence isn’t a one step process.

Layer by layer (like an onion) I’ve been peeled back, exposed, broken.

My plans, dreams, and securities have been shattered. 

My feelings have been trampled upon.

Each time a new layer is exposed, I think “pew…I made it. That hurt, but I can see I needed that skin sloughed off. Surely there isn’t much more God needs to strip from my life.

But I'm always wrong.

There is more that needs to be uncovered so I can learn how to truly and single-mindedly DEPEND upon HIM. 

And each step will require me to break in some fashion.

It will hurt. I won’t like it. But I take comfort  knowing that it is for my good.

God doesn’t break me because He gets some sort of twisted satisfaction out of seeing me cry.

He does it because He’s a loving parent.

Currently, my toddler likes to wrestle…but sometimes he’s too rough and I have to stop his “play”.

He doesn’t like it when I do. He also doesn't completely understand why he can't do certain things (like hit). 

But it’s for his good. He can’t go around thinking his “play” is okay when sometimes it hurts others. 

He needs to know how to control his emotions. 

And I need to learn how to control mine as well. So God, being my Father, disciplines me. 

Like my son, I don’t always understand. I think what I’m doing is “okay”. I can’t see that sometimes my actions hurt others and myself. 

So God has to BREAK me of certain behaviors. 

It’s only when I’m broken, AKA being Disciplined, that I truly stop and listen to instruction. It’s during this time that I’m able to learn, grow and mature.

God’s discipline doesn’t usually look like my toddlers. But sometimes it does. Sometimes I get things taken away. Sometimes I get put in a “time out” (waiting for prayers to be answered), and sometimes I feel as if I got my little hands smacked for reaching out to touch a hot stove. 

“God uses the crisis to break us open, to empty us of everything that is not of Him, and to soften the soil of our hearts with tears.” Sorge (pg 117)).

One of the greatest things God is breaking me of is self-sufficiency. I tend to think more highly of myself than I should. I think I can handle situations and only need God’s approval for the decisions I make. Sometimes I even tend to think it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission... because in my mind, my intentions are good and God is taking too long to get on board. 

So God is humbling me.

My pride and ego take blows. 

My systems, plans, and calculations prove inadequate.

And I’m coming to realize just how ill prepared I am to meet life’s demands. 

These lessons are producing fertile ground for God to produce fruit.

My trust in God is blossoming as my reliance on self is decomposing. 

“God wants to break us of our self-reliance and produces in us a deep humility and profound dependence upon Him.” Sorge (pg 117).

I’m pretty sure Sorge read my mind when he wrote that line :)

How about you…are you an onion being peeled by God? Or are you resisting His discipline by rotting on the shelf?

I have a tip if you’re trying to fight God, or are scared to say “yes” to what He’s asking of you- STOP!

“God isn’t about to relent until the breaking is complete.” Sorge (pg 118)

Re-read that sentence.

God WILL complete what He started.

Like I’ve heard so many tell their children, “We can do this the easy way or the hard way”. So go ahead, trust God to peel the onion of your soul!
Join the Book club discussing, “The Fire of Delayed Answers” by Bob Sorge, by either grabbing a copy of the book and joining the weekly discussions and/or leaving a comment below. You can read more about this chapter from: Jason, Sarah, Rick, Dusty, Kari, Glynn,  and Joell. (and possibly a few more people- sorry if I left you out. Please let me know so I can add you to the list.)

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