The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.Revelation 22:17 NIV
Open your hands here And unclench the fist See What's covered Held inside too long. A gift of His making So lovely and pure He placed there for you To plant and to grow. The gift became burden When carried too long Sharing was hindered By rejection's cruel curse. The gift turned to piercing Come look at blood's stains Marking your palm Suffering now shared. Open your hand here And unclench the fist See the true gift to share Bound together in HIM. RELEASE, Set it free, Blood-stained-love Holy and Pure. --bg
Into a weekend filled with side effects from yet another failed medication, my mind reeled under the weight of the weakness that I felt. My blood pressure and pulse had fallen too low, so the meds meant to help my head pains had to be stopped, and my body needed time to flush it out of my system.
But what of the burden that the Lord had asked of me last week? I had felt so firmly that I was to release another gift that had been given to me years ago. How could I convey what was in my heart when my mind felt so sluggish and impaired from the medications?
Ah, it had always been about HIS gifts, not my abilities. That was the whole point of this gift.
My husband was the actor. Everyone knew it. He had been gifted with a unique ability to get into character, to write out the inner-most thoughts and then to memorize and capture what the story expressed so beautifully. I had always been his “wing-man” or “straight-man” if he was telling a funny story. We worked well together that way. Everyone expected it.
Until the night that God gave me a dream about a character that I was to portray. The picture was so clear, that I could not escape it. The woman in the story began to fill my thoughts. Research into her character filled my spare time. And conversations with my husband revealed that he too felt an urging from the Lord that this character was mine to portray.
Our family had already been traveling to churches through-out the Midwest with a drama that my husband portrayed as the Apostle Thomas. Now we added The Woman at the Well. Her story burned in my heart, as we prayed for women around the country who told me their own stories, so similar to hers.
“How could you portray what I was feeling?” they asked. I could only answer truthfully, “the Lord put her story in my heart. He filled me with such compassion that I did not know I had.” For you see, I thought I had only tasted small amounts of rejection and pain at that point in my life. I had grown up looking like the Quiet Church Girl, thinking that others’ stories were more critical than mine. The legalistic church told me to hold my own stories inside, even as I longed for the deep places.
What was on the surface became the mask that I fought against, and asked others to look beyond.
I did not realize that I was the one who would have to let God remove the mask.
But God in His mercy began the process of answering my prayer by placing me in situations of rejection.
How could that be? God doesn’t set us in places of rejection! Doesn’t He? There are too many Biblical examples to escape that point. What of Joseph or David? He knew what they would need to face in order to be made new by HIS deeper love in their hearts.
As the rejections burned deeper, the pain in my own life rose to the surface, inescapable to those around me. The time of traveling with the dramas and ministry stopped. Many friends walked away, as they could not understand what had happened to the surface of the old me. They could not accept the places where the mask was being broken away.
But God gave a small group of friends who stuck with us through the years of rejection. Just when we thought the years were finished, other hard seasons poured in. All the while God was gifting more of His grace through every rejection.
Years after the first time that I gave the drama for the Woman at the Well, God asked me to open the drama again, but to express the deeper worship that had been birthed in my own heart, as I looked at two other women’s stories who also met Jesus. Both had poured out their oil upon Jesus. Both had been given the grace to gift their praises to the ONE who had met them in their own places of rejection. This drama was only offered once at an intimate women’s retreat, but it was given and received fully before Jesus.
Now into this place of current rejection, where my own body seems to have rejected me, another gift of Grace has been given to me. This is the gift to RELEASE. The intimacy of worship that Jesus gave me to pour over Him was never meant to be hoarded to myself. The piercing sting of rejection, whether it’s from others or from our own body, only leads us to see the full rejection that Jesus has carried for all of us. HE took it all to the cross so that we could be released to know His true love.
So, today, I offer to you, my readers, the gift of the stories of these three worshipping women, in a skit format. It was given to me from the Lord, to share with a precious group of women who are forever stamped in my heart. But now it is a gift for you to read, to share, to give away as you feel led. Share it with those that God places on your hearts, to taste His compassion there, to find the gift of worshipping together. For He is making us all new in Him, stirring up our hearts to praise Him here.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
Click here to download this gift, The Worshipping Women Skit
The gift is my prayer for all of you this week. May you be blessed by God’s touch for you.