I’m lying flat on my back on a yoga mat. It’s purple and pretty, spread out on a flat roof atop a mountain-resort lodge in Colorado — altitude 7,500 feet. So, I’m out of my territory. Colorado’s my home state, yet the resort is upscale and cool. Plus, everybody around me is younger — by decades, for some of them. Yoga, meantime, is something I’ve never really tried – not even “Christian” yoga at our church. Even more, rooftop yoga feels high on the hog, and I’m here at this retreat only by the skin of my teeth – only because God set me to be invited, even though I don’t totally fit. But do any of us? Totally fit? In every setting?
In many ways, we don’t. As 1 Chronicles 29:15 reminds us, “We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors.” Thus, this world is not our home. We, indeed, are “foreigners and exiles,” as Peter reminded early Christians, especially those suffering persecution.
That truth hits home when the yoga instructor – an impossibly cute young woman with cool, spiky hair and even cooler yoga clothes – invites our group to lay on our backs, arms at our sides, on the pretty purple mats.
Immediately, I feel vulnerable — especially when she tells us to close our eyes and think of all the negative things ever said about us. A strange request? It felt even stranger when, without much effort, I seem to recall almost every nasty putdown and ugly name ever pounded or thrown my way.
My reply? “Jesus!” I whisper His beautiful name. It’s a prayer and a plea all at once. Then, however, the yoga lady invites us to release those putdowns. Then, in their place, she invites us to recall all the positive things declared about ourselves.
It takes a minute, but I allow myself to think, one by one, of my positives. We all have some. So, indeed, I breathe easier.
Too soon, however, the teacher says to let that good stuff go, too. Soon I understand. We’re emptying all of our labels and losses, hopes and hindrances, pride and pain.
“What’s left?” asks the yoga lady. Right away, one word bubbles forward: enough.
“Enough?” I whisper the word in my mind. Then I hold onto it, telling myself it’s a good word to declare over myself. So, I walk around in it the rest of the retreat, feeling better about being in this pretty place, more than a mile high.
When I get back home, however, and I bring my word to God, He hands it back to me. That’s because God’s Word never calls us just “enough.” Instead, His Word calls us “more” — far more, yes, than just enough.
As Paul wrote to the new Christians in Rome, many facing trouble and hardship, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Peter said the same to new believers scattered, by persecution, throughout Asia Minor. You are more. He says in 1 Peter 2, “You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple ” (v. 5). Unlike those who stumble or are unsure, “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (v. 9). He goes on to say, “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (v. 10).
Those are hallelujah words if you’ve ever been put down or cast aside. The Lord Himself was the target of such disregard, yet He invites us to know and walk in all that we are in Him — conquering, chosen, special, forgiven, and loved. Yet after knowing and walking in this confidence, what shall we do with our more-ness?
Here’s a humble suggestion: let’s be more in Him — more loving, more forgiving, more merciful, and more kind. Then, as we walk this way, may the glow of our path tell the most about our Christ.
God’s Word never calls us just “enough.” Instead, His Word calls us more – far more, yes, than just enough. -@PatriciaRaybon: Click To Tweet