Sunday, January 22, 2012

Coming Soon...

I’m a sucker for Coming Soon signs. In the mall, on the road, postings in the newspapers–check, check, check! I will go out of my way to read these signs. Watch out because that may mean running a curb! The busybody in me likes to know these things so that I can report them to my husband, dog, mom, and anyone else who has ears to hear.

Something I’ve noticed and come to envy are the owners of these Coming Soon properties because they are able to hide whatever it is that is coming soon. They get to board up their mess and leave only a pretty sign for the world to view. While I would love to gawk at their construction and disarray, I must resign to reading the Coming Soon sign a few times and then getting on with my day.

I wish I could enclose myself in a private space, display a Coming Soon sign and wait for the Lord’s return. “Coming soon a fully redeemed perfected Emily.” If there is good reason for property owners to cover up their mess, isn’t there good reason to hide mine? It would be great to hide my weakened body, rarely do I feel like I’m in picture perfect physical and emotional condition.

But I believe that God would want something else, something completely opposite. Which is exactly why I’m writing this post. Here is a verse that helped me form this belief:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Over the past several weeks I’ve thought a lot about this verse, which is why I believe that God’s plan is not for me to be hid but for me to be on display so that his light can shine forth, casting truth and grace into the dark world. I draw hope in this: Believers are the jars of clay and the power of God, manifested in Christ, is the treasure.

We, the vessel are worthless without the treasure that was trustingly sent to us. Therefore, proclaiming the incredible transforming power of the gospel is our most worthy pursuit. As long as the gospel is being displayed through us, the vessel, everything is going accordingly (at least that is what I’ve come to expectantly hope in).

But that is easier said than done! We want bodies that can do more than just proclaim the gospel. Who has heard someone say, “My body gets me from point A to point B, what more could I ask for?” No way! We only say that about the jalopy we drove until we had enough money to buy a new car. We want a body that attracts a spouse, performs well enough to keep a steady job, allows for life-goals to be accomplished, and survives long enough to see grand children. Hear me out, I’m not discounting 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, I’m just looking at things from another angle.

It was good for me to be reminded that the treasure is the gospel and not my body, which in this verse is referred to as the jar of clay. My body has failed me many times; often it moves in ways that are beyond my control. I rejoice in knowing that the real thing to treasure is the indwelling Holy Spirit. This treasure is indestructible and is what I should focus on others noticing Many times I am ashamed by the way my body behaves. If only I treasured my body less.

A couple months ago I went to a Wal-mart, which is currently expanding to become a Super Wal-mart. While there I saw an Excuse Our Mess sign and thought to myself, “Whatever it takes to get a Super Wal-mart!” Who could not be excited about that! I was grateful that this proprietor allowed me to shop at the store, regardless of the construction, instead of closing up shop and putting up barriers or paper over the windows. I’m sure it would be bad business for Wal-mart to do so, the store is crazy-busy whenever I go. Likewise, it would be absurd for me (or any believer) to hide in a closet; the Gospel needs to be proclaimed! How freeing it would be to have the same approach, to carry an Excuse My Mess sign as opposed to hiding behind a Coming Soon sign.

I’ve come to realize, and this has been truly hard for me to accept, perfection can not be achieved on Earth. Well, I take that back, perfection came and went through the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. I will not taste perfection here. I wonder if my mind could even grasp what that would look like.

These are all new and fresh thoughts, I write with courageous words because I’m excited about learning more about this and I’m grateful for the formation that has already taken place.

Last year ended with a series of doctor appointments and personal research regarding a desire of mine and Jonathan’s to know why my body behaves as it does. What neurological disorder do I have? Is it progressive? Is it genetic? What can be done to relieve the jerking? Do I want a diagnosis? Its hard because I feel like nothing has changed, I need to be more patient. It’s been difficult for doctors to provide a diagnosis. We know that anxiety is a factor; But it’s not the only factor, my muscles contract come rain or shine, in peace or in stress. For now I’ve decided to focus on treating my anxiety, and one way I will do this is to seek professional counseling or behavioral therapy. The cards are still falling into place–this is a brief overview that I am sure I will provide better detail one day.

All this said, this year I hope to receive with joy the shabby tent God saved for me to occupy as I live my life out on earth. Coming soon: A fully redeemed bride and a beautiful body not just for me but for the church.

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” 2 Corinthians 5:1 NLT

1 comment:

Alex.Mandes said...

Great illustration. Of all days having a medical procedure done on my I can identify. The stress of perfection can be so debilitating. I like better the idea that we are a physical/personal/spiritual mess in progress. This great illustration works for the church also. Jesus is building His church...we can be a mess but we must persevere!