DESPERATE FOR THE ‘NARROW GATE’
Recently, a song by the rock band, Red, spawned an inspiration to write this article. The song title is “Coming Apart,” which is found on their “Gone” album. This song reminds me that there is never a place in this life where I feel safe without feeling desperate for God. I know by His grace that He has me in the palm of His hand, and yet, at any moment, I can choose, even subconsciously—to slip away into my own narrow-minded world, far away from His auspicious, loving will for me. Just thinking of that reminds me of Jesus’s words about entering the “narrow gate,” (Matthew 7:13) and how it is so much easier and yet devastating for us to walk through the ‘larger gate’. Slipping into my own world would be me entering the large gate, and it takes such constant, conscious effort to be redirected back to the narrow gate that seems so inconvenient, out-of-my-way, and tedious. Yet, taking this way leads me to Christ, to peace, to fulfillment, and to the release of the strongholds that the corruption of this world brings to the docile human soul.
FULFILLMENT STARTS IN THE SPIRIT
What “Coming Apart” does is it helps remind me of the humility in needing Christ to fill me where I cannot fill myself.
The lyrics cry out, “Don’t give up on me today!” as if a person is reaching out with arms, hands, and fingers extended, rebuking a moment away from their Creator, knowing a second’s worth of lapse is the difference between being fulfilled and completely losing themselves. The song knows the terrifying consequence of being separated from who we need in order to live, and expresses the humility and desperation of knowing our hopelessness otherwise: “You’re the One thing I can’t lose. Hold on, I’m coming apart.“
The song admits utter defeat, knowing without the One thing holding its soul together, life itself hangs by a thread. Of course, isn’t that how it is for us all, whether or not we’re willing and humbled to admit we are powerless otherwise? We have nothing without Him, and the moment we take back from God to give back to ourselves, our life takes a wrong turn because we were designed to be in His will, not ours. Otherwise, we fall apart.
FILLING OUR VOIDS WITH THE EPHEMERAL
Where “Coming Apart” comes into play is that it reminds me of how, upon cruise-controlling through life without faith, I am capable of turning to other outlets to fill in my voids and soothe my pain, and in turn, I start to come apart because I’m not choosing to stay connected to God. When we turn back to Him, surrendering as if to ask that He not give up on us, we are met with the hope of choosing intimacy with Him rather than ephemeral pleasures leading us back to our voids.
UNCLOAKED & FULFILLED BY SURRENDER
Not all of us connect to God the same way, and that isn’t what is most important. What’s most important is that we choose surrender over control, love over selfishness, and God over ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). When we do this, the fruit of our choices will spill into our lives and the lives of others as Christ transforms us. Life is fulfilling when we choose to hand over our soul to God, who can promise to give our truest self back to us. When we surrender ourselves to God, He gives us back to ourselves without the cloak of the corruption of this world wrapped around it. When we surrender to God, we receive transformation (2 Corinthians 3:18), renewal (Romans 12:2), and spiritual peace (Philippians 4:7). With faith, hope is instilled at the deepest core of our being, and in turn, we run from the mirage of the fallacious ‘safety’ of this world, and into the hope of our Lord walking with us through our darkest struggles:
Psalm 23:1-4 (ESV) “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.”
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