Before “I” Dies

Some years ago, I heard an African man pray kneeling on his straw mat on a muddy ground. His eyes were tightly shut; his focus was intense and his voice was a loud plead as if it was all about life or death. This is what he prayed, “Lord, break me until there is nothing more of ‘me’ is left”! What struck me was that he prayed this one sentence repeatedly as if he was pretty convinced that God wasn’t taking his request seriously or he wasn’t satisfied with the breaking that God is doing to his life. After watching him from a distance for almost half an hour, this sentence stuck to my head, “Lord, break me until there is nothing more of ‘me’ is left”.

Soon, I realized that I was praying this as well; but not with such intense like the African brother did. I don’t know how long it took God to answer the African brother but he did respond to me quicker than I expected.

For the next six weeks, my left hand was in a cast because of a sled accident. With just one functioning hand, it took longer than normal to clear the dishwasher, to vacuum and mop the floor, to get the hot food from the baking oven only to helplessly watch it drop down. After some days, I felt a strange pain in my right back. The muscles there had cramped due to an overuse of the right arm. I stopped right there taking pride in running the household (literally), single handedly. ‘I can do it’, ‘I can survive’, ‘I don’t need help’, ‘I don’t need others’, what a pride and what a waste!

When God breaks us, the “I” in us still wants to prove to the world around us that it can survive and live all by itself. How difficult is it for the “I” to die? It is as difficult as for a rich man to sell all his possessions, give it to the poor, and follow Jesus. If the “I” is unwilling to die, for whatever reason, the workload is prolonged and the other members of the body are stressed.

Why are so many stressed out in the body of Christ? Because some “I-ses” in the body want to prove that it can make it without the others. Why do so many not want to be helped or even be of help in the body of Christ? It’s because the “I” is very much alive.  The “I” maims the body of Christ to function in its fullness. As long as the “I” is alive, Christ cannot take abode in us. When nothing more of ‘me’ is left, that is when we will see the bride get prepared to meet her King, glorifying only one sweet name on her lips- Jesus. I dare you pray that African brother’s prayer, “Lord, break me until there is nothing more of “me” is left.”

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2Corinthians 5:15

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