This months guest blog is from Hannah Holland. Hannah is a worship leader and songwriter, she has served on worship teams for about 18 years and has been involved in several worship albums, including her own. Hannah’s heart is to see the church fully engaged in worship, motivated to bring light into dark places and share Jesus in our communities and beyond.
There are times in our lives that are hard to live through. Sometimes we just survive. Life can be heavy and hard to take. Our emotions are real and so are our circumstances. Often we have no control over our circumstances, but we do have a choice when it comes to our emotions. We can choose to not let them rule us. We don’t have to pretend anything. We need to acknowledge that when we are weak; God is strong. If we try to stay strong in our own strength it can lead to a complete meltdown, but if we understand that acknowledging our weakness gives God an opportunity to show us what He can do, the miraculous will come around us. God is not surprised by our emotions, He created them and it is healthy to let them out, but the next step is to relax, trust God and let Him be strong. When we learn to do this He brings us back to life and we begin to learn that the very spirit of God is within us. When we are broken, cracks form in our lives, but I believe that the Spirit of God wants to leak out of these cracks and bring life to those around us.
In the book of Mark we find an account of a woman with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she broke and poured onto Jesus’s head. He considers this a beautiful thing for her to have done but the disciples say, “This is a waste! You could have sold that for a lot of money and given it to the poor!!”
We can learn from this woman. She understood that the perfume inside the jar was of no use if it were contained. She cared little for the money that it could’ve earned her, but cared everything for the difference that it made to Jesus. The alabaster jar was expensive in itself. Many would consider it to be a treasure but this woman understood that the ointment inside was far more valuable.
Consider yourself as the alabaster jar for a moment. Our body and soul is, if you like, a container for the precious ointment inside that is the Spirit. Our circumstances happen to us. They can cause cracks in our ‘outer shell’, our alabaster jar. Unless we understand that the ‘perfume’, the Spirit, is far more precious than the jar, these cracks will remain. But if we understand that these cracks let the ‘perfume’ of the Spirit come out of us we can leak life to all around us.
Cracks hurt. It hurts to be broken. I have asked God to break my outer shell but I didn’t expect it would hurt so much! I didn’t want the pain, but it was naïve of me to think that I would be broken without it hurting! When we find ourselves being broken our pain can lead us to the Spirit within us, if we let it. We must not contain the spirit, the ‘perfume’ inside of us. We must let Him leak out of us.
Even the way we deal with our emotions can contain the Spirit. I have recently discovered this for myself. I found myself struggling with anxiety and elements of depression that have ‘contained’ the Spirit. By that I mean that my emotions were preventing life to leak out of me. Until I got a grip on them I was dead inside. This stuff is hard. It is often easier said than done, but it is worth the effort.
I desperately want to ‘leak life’. I want the Spirit within me to overtake me. I want to understand that the same power that conquered the grave lives in me and it can get me through anything. There is less of ‘me’ now than there ever was and more of Him.
I read these verses from 2 Corinthians 4: 7-10 (NIV):
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down. But not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
How often we forget that we are carrying around the life of Jesus! Our brokenness empathises with His suffering and His death but if we let it, if we stop treasuring our humanity so much, we can be people who leak the very life of Jesus through the Spirit who lives within us!
And so, as 2 Corinthians 4:16 tells us
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away. Yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
What a wonderful privilege! To live out of the power within us, to ‘leak life’ to those around us, to let the perfume of God’s Spirit seep out of our cracks and into the cracks of others as we use our experiences and our brokenness to ‘leak life’ to this broken world.
You can read more from Hannah on her own page http://hannah-holland.