“Sometimes it takes being stripped of what is familiar, giving everything up, to be reminded of who we truly are.” Rebekah Lyons, You Are Free
Stripped of church community.
Stripped of employment.
Stripped of finances.
Stripped of dreams.
Stripped of opportunities.
I felt like I lacked so much this year but in reflecting on it, it brings me to the CS Lewis quote:
“He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.”
When we are stripped of everything, what remains?
Who is all I will ever need?
Whether I was stripped of everything to draw me into deeper intimacy with Him or to rid me of the unnecessary and distractions, I don’t know.
But – what I do know is that it brought me to my knees, weeping until my eyes went dry, when I had no words to say, with a heart broken more profoundly than I thought could ever be possible, all before my Christ. I know it reminded me that I am not in control, nor will I ever be. It reminded of how God is my truest Provider, who never fails to meet my most basic need to my largest concern. It reminded me that I am a child dependent on her Father for strength, rest, comfort, guidance, grace, and love.
If you’ve been stripped this year too, make a permanent marker note in your mind that this is not punishment. This isn’t a cruel joke; this is God weeding out the gardens in us to make room for the godly and virtuous bulbs that need to grow in our hearts. This is God opening our eyes to our need for Him alone. This is God preparing the ground for what is to come next. This is God giving us grace and protection, even though in the moments it doesn’t feel that way. I guarantee you that being stripped is a part of the refining process to make us more like Christ. It brings our eyes, minds, and hearts to focus on the only One who lasts forever and always satisfies, never disappointing.
Being stripped isn’t a death sentence but a way for us to find the life we’re supposed to live in Him.
When things are taken away, be grateful. There’s a divine purpose in it. It is never easy. It hurts and likely is confusing to us at first, but trust God. Never doubt His goodness. If we are being stripped, not only is it removing the unnecessary, but is also creating room for the better things that He has in store for us.