In the fall I lost my jacket. It was a nice jacket, cool and trendy, with a lightness that transitions the seasons from winter to summer and summer to winter with ease. I really liked that jacket, but quickly I forgot about it.
A few weeks ago I get a call on the phone, “Hi Joy. Guess what I found? My roommate thought your jacket was hers and had it in her closet. Oops. Sorry. I’ll return it to you.”
Though it was just a jacket, it felt nice to have it back. But what I thought about this was something a bit deeper.
I read this passage intently a few weeks ago.
"Whoever finds his life will lose it. And whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:39
Imagine if you lost your life and you didn’t realize that it was missing. You stopped being your job. You stopped being your school. You stopped being your stuff and your food. And you actually gave it all up. You started being God’s.
Some of us are only willing to give what we think is required to make it to heaven.
“I’ll volunteer on Sunday mornings, but when I see a homeless person I’ll wish them well and pray for them as I pass them by on my way to lunch.” Or “I’ll work out at the gym to make myself fit and practice endurance, but I’ll give God only 5 minutes of actual Bible comprehension each week.” Or, “I’ll give money to my church, but the mall deserves more of it.”
I’m not saying you should live a life of poverty. Jesus is.
Jesus promises that you find life when you lose it. He’s got you covered.
Lately I’ve found that the more I give away. The more I rid myself of this world, I don’t get more out of touch. I get more in touch with what actually matters. I care about people. I love God. I don’t have a bad self-esteem. I don’t feel alone. I don’t want to sin. I want to be with God in real ways, every moment of EVERY DAY.
Take some time. Realize. We are not our jobs. We are not our families. We are not our activities. We are not our food. We are not our clothes. We are not our flesh. We are God’s.
So I pray this for myself, "Take my stomach, Lord, so that only my heart would hunger for you. Fill my throat with sand, for I want to thirst for you. You are the living God. Only your waters can quench this thirst. Take this skin. Peel it off. I don’t want it anymore. Rip from me these muscles that pin themselves to my bones that I would stand in your presence a skeleton of a person, gaunt and emaciated, peeled from the world with only the light of your life shining from my heart. Because I only long to love you. I long to love others. For I pray to die so that I might live. I pray to be only alive because you make me alive. Be lost so you can find me. I long to be dead to this world, suffering the affliction and persecution that Christ endured knowing that Christ is walking alongside me, my hand in his, as I walk toward glory. Giving everything, EVERYDAY is my one desire."
If you want to lose something that you won’t miss once you realize you are alive, pray this, “Jesus I surrender my life, my will, my needs, my wants, my desires, my love. I give them up to you. And I ask that you will come in and fill that whole that the world has filled. Peel off my flesh so I can be holy and righteous. I love you and want to be with you only. Thank you for making me alive. In Jesus name, Amen.”
It takes small things. Eventually losing yourself will be the best thing you do.