Getting naked. - Colossians - pages 197-205

I know that I'm supposed to be scrawling a thought on the book of Ephesians today, but once again, I just couldn't move on from Colossians quite yet.  One particular phrase gripped me.

“To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy which so powerfully works within me.” – Colossians 1:29

I struggle. I struggle a lot. Years ago, I expended tons of energy to shroud this reality under layers of togetherness. Exposure was out of the question; to me, composure equaled character. It seemed like grown ups were cover ups expecting more out of the youth than they expected out of themselves. I honestly can’t remember hearing any adult admit weakness when I was growing up. It led me to believe that my foibles were atypical and unique to me. My lust, my insecurity, my jealousy, and my fears were my issues and mine alone.

I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read about all the nimrods and screw-ups and perverts and psychopaths and addicts in the Scriptures who aren’t afraid to shed the shell of the poser, and share their honest to God-feelings and dealings. Noah was a naked drunk, Abraham was a liar, Jacob was a conniver, Moses was a murderer, Samson was a numbskull, David was an adulterer, Solomon was a ladies man, Jeremiah was a basket case, Jonah was a bigot, Peter was a loudmouth, Paul was an egotist, and these are just a few of the characters that make up the mosaic of the messed up morons used by God to get the message out.

“Struggling with all his energy…” If I must struggle, and I must, I want to do it with the energy of God. There is a God-energy that is available to those who willingly enroll in the adventure of the Christian life. It is so easy to tackle tasks that I can accomplish with my own energy and pass up any undertaking that goes beyond my capacity. God energizes the ones who join the struggle to advance the kingdom. I have felt surges of that energy at times when I knew I had bumped up against the ceiling of my own ability and was relying solely on the capabilities of God. I wonder how much God-adrenaline I have passed up simply because I stay close to shore in my attempt to control outcomes. There is a rush reserved for those who place themselves in the fat middle of the wrestling mat and invite struggle to take its best shot.

“…which so powerfully works within me.” I’m a realist just like the next guy. I find it hard to believe God is shacking up inside the likes of me. And it’s even harder for me to connect with the idea that he is carried away with activity under there. Yet as hard as it is to comprehend, God is running an operation inside my mess and working around the clock to empower me to meet the tasks I face. As I struggle, a power is unleashed from within to weather the storm. He is talking me through trauma and off ledges. He is releasing His Ghostly presence (I don’t generally use that term to describe the Spirit, but it seems to carry an appropriate tone to it in this case) to walk me through valleys of doubt. I believe in the mystical presence of the God-ghost within who moves powerfully in my weakness to demonstrate His energetic ways.

All this is easier said that done, I know. But somehow I feel that if it’s left unsaid, I will leave it undone.


MsWholigan said…
Love the ending especially - "If it's left unsaid, I will leave it undone." Amen.
Marcus Burton said…
This is a good word for me to hear this morning. Thanks for taking the time to write. I've got this "fake composure" syndrome bad. But who will rescue me from this body of death?
Gene said…
Great comments - appreciating your vulnerability and His ability in and thru you!

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