“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” 1 Peter 4:12

Words, deeds, misunderstanding, hurt feelings. Baggage adding up, spilling over.

Filters and lenses fogged through, emotions intense. Pressure steaming.  Exploding all over.

People living with People: Rubbing raw, stabbing deep, wearing thin.  Aching.  Lonely.  Fearfully raging.  Clashing and colliding and throbbing and slashing and hiding and blaming and hating and longing… in need.

….which comes upon you for your testing….

I remember words once spoken to me; “She needs a dart board and you are her leader.  Seems like God is asking you to break the fall for her, to be the one who catches her hurt and absorbes the mess.  Seems like maybe He’s asking you to be His skin and bones for a little while. Seems like a painfully high honor, if you ask me.  Seems like that’s what we do when we say yes to being like Him.”  

And when standing in the breaking of someone’s fall, my own heart breaks.  Shatters.  I wonder if He really wants me to say yes to being like Him.  When absorbing someone else’s mess requires painful stretching to accomodate the enormity of a life lived outside my capacity, when the swelling tears pieces of me and my resolve to be like Him cracks… In my aching my human, un-god-like, is showing.

“…Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler…”              ~1 Peter 4:15

When my human heart bites back in the searing pain of tearing and I no longer suffer stretching for the sake of Christ, but suffer under the weight of my new wounds opening old.  When I am no longer breaking someones fall, but falling right along with them, I wonder, how did I get here? When did I turn away from the Healer and become the hurting? When I am an evildoer, and troublesome and have no where to look but at my own failing pride, my own crying for comfort and relief, rather than for God’s glory. When I loose sight. Forget why I am here.  When does He come rescue us both?

“Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” ~ 1 Peter 4:19

In the midst of falling and failing in human error and stringent pride, one thing I do know: His hands stretching wide.  It is enough to remind me to land on my knees, my face to the floor.  One thing that falling does is break open the brittle shell that said, enough stretching this time!  And me, now broken, heart beating bare, each hand His covers He lifts up with care.   It is His arms that stretch mine out full. It is His strength holding them there.  In this, I am renewed.  In His embrace I gain my girth.  Together, my skin and bones and His presence, we return to absorbing hurt from the hurting. And when I lean into Him as we break their fall, I can see it.  This is how I am becoming like Him.

“Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” ~1 Peter 4:1


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