Posted by: JennyRain | August 9, 2010

The Stripping Process

I am continually inspired by my Guest Posters, and #ManWeek was certainly no exception!

The men I asked to guest post for the last two weeks have inspired me through their poignant stories of redemption, brokenness, and faith. I knew they would be vulnerable and transparent, and I knew their words would encourage others as they have me.

But for me, these posts did more than that…

They humbled me.

Each of their stories evidenced men who were allowing themselves to be broken, stripped, and bruised JUST BECAUSE they have chosen to follow hard after Christ.

They could have chosen the easy path, but they did not. And in that choice to take the difficult path, they have allowed themselves to be molded and transformed into the image of Christ.

They inspire me.

For those of us who are choosing a life of surrender to Christ, we all have stories of being “stripped.”

REDUCED to ashes so we can be REFORMED from the rubble of our ego-maniacal temple-building attempts and RECREATED into the image of Christ.

Reduced…Reformed…Recreated

I am no stranger to the stripping.

Throughout my life God has systematically un-masked me. Revealed my defenselessness in the places I am most vulnerable… Stripped me bare of dented-metal shields that weighed more than my small frame could carry.

We are not designed to walk outfitted with battle gear.

Understanding this is all part of our growth in Christ helps, but it does not make the process any easier to endure.

Joseph found that out…

First he was stripped of his coat

Then he was stripped of his family

Then he was stripped of his position

But it was not until he was naked in prison that he began to discover his kingdom calling.

Mepibosheth discovered it too…

He was born a prince… and dropped into disability

He was hidden in a land of dry places (lo-debar)

Shame was his constant companion

And there he sat until he was redeemed by the King who would sit Mephibosheth at the King’s table forever.

I have learned it – and to some degree must re-learn it every day…

Once I relied on my corporate title to give me meaning… and then God moved me out of my career

I have focused much-too-much on body image, beauty, and looks for my self-esteem… and then God moved me into my fortieth year where calories are no longer my friend

My fixation on things, savings, and tangible “essentials” are being replaced with a growing awareness that like narcissus the more I focus on the ephemeral mist of materialism, the less freedom I actually have

I have even found my “religion” wanting as tried-and-true practices of my faith have begun to fail, rather than fuel, my connection to God

Though I would love to say I am done with the stripping process and have learned the lessons I need to… I know that I am far from complete in God’s eyes and the refining must continue.

I take heart from the countless examples of faith who are going before me.

Those people who are surrendering to God in the dry places… allowing Him to lovingly confront, embrace, and reform the fallow places in their hearts.

Because I know that God only strips because He sees in us a magnificent creation more beautiful than we can imagine.


“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”—Michelangelo

God’s spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are… Romans 8.16 (MSG)

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Responses

  1. I prophesied that same stripping to a friend of mine last week … but to be honest I’m right there too.

    I hate the stripping process.

    It hurts so much.

    But you put it so well, “REDUCED to ashes so we can be REFORMED from the rubble of our ego-maniacal temple-building attempts and RECREATED into the image of Christ.”

    Help me to remember this as the goal and the end result of the stripping, Father….

    • Somewhere in the prophets God also talks about using the rubble of the stones to rebuild a new place… you made me think of it as I was reading your comment…I couldn’t find the verse, but I found this in Nehemiah when the bad guys were criticizing Neh and his men for rebuilding:

      “Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”

      what I love about God is that He uses our broken places to recreate the very foundations of our future… sigh 🙂

  2. “He sees in us a magnificent creation more beautiful than we can imagine.”

    Yep…that’s it. He can see it and we can’t see it. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing we can’t see it or not because then we might get prideful about the beauty that could be!

    • so true Jason – had not ever thought about that before 🙂

  3. REDUCED to ashes so we can be REFORMED from the rubble of our ego-maniacal temple-building attempts and RECREATED into the image of Christ.

    Well….you know what’s going on in my life and that I’m undergoing this even as we speak. You may ask well have been writing my story.

    Thank you for putting yourself out there for us. It is encouraging that I’m not the only one who walks this.

  4. stripping process…yes, it’s excruciating to say the least, and how easily we (I) can look back, longing to be “clothed” again in corporate titles, shallow beauty, material success…

    But my constant hope spurs me to discover what lies ahead and i praise Him for restoring us through and through…

  5. LOVED- Man week. I blown away by every single post. Thanks.

    It is kind of like we are onions. The more the layers get unraveled the stinkier it gets. But, it needs to happen. We are under there. The creation we were always meant to be. We are created in His image. We are there. He wants us to see.

    • So true… it’s just the peeling that can be painful sometimes. Wasn’t man week AMAZING? have so much respect for those guys 🙂


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