Once, long years back, I made space for a gal to live with me and my family.
With kids involved and space at a premium it took a lot of work, days of preparation, all with its fare share of stress and emotional investment in order for a space to be ready for her.
It was a commitment with deliberate intention on our part. Not taken lightly.
Yet it didn’t go well. Right from the start she was wishing she wasn’t with us. It appeared to me at the time that she was refusing to settle, would not make herself at home, couldn’t rest in what was new to her, and long story short, she ended up leaving after a few short months.
I was furious. Betrayed. Angry. I couldn’t speak to her for some time. All that effort and work and sacrifice to make a space for her in our home and she blew it off. Quite delightedly to. It was incredibly offensive.
Ever since I’ve understood the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt, and God’s utter frustration with them when they refused to enter the promised land. They too couldn’t settle into something new.
And somehow, through all the miracles and gargantuan effort of God’s hand and heart, all they could do was complain. He let them wander 40 years in the desert after that.
It is the same story of each one of us when we refuse to use up fully and completely the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
In a very small way it is similar to a time I was in Uganda when a chicken meal was placed before me, and with stunning clarity I realized that the chicken had been walking around the yard just the day before. And here it was, dead so that I might eat. I never ate chicken before with so much gratitude and honor for its life given, making sure to leave no bits behind.
Somehow, the only way to really appreciate the effort of others, the work of God, the cross of Christ, or the death of a chicken, is to use up the work. To drink in the opportunities till we are saturated, and changed.
In preparing our Spiritual Authority Course at CCI, this is a very deliberate part of the curriculum: enter into the depths of your life with Jesus Christ. He went down to the grave for you, the cross is planted in Sheol, meet him there. In your own darkest places find him, use him up, make full and complete use of his sacrifice.
To do any less is incredibly offensive.