“Where ever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot
This quote has always been a favorite of mine, but I really did not understand the depth of what this quote implied until this semester. I read into this quote wrong. I have always valued the essence of “being present” and I thought that being present was being everywhere. I thought that I always needed to be “on” and always put together. I think this is a common misconception that stems from everything of this world.
But, we cannot be of this world.
To be in this world, but not of this world is challenging in every way. There is a strong pressure to perform, and to perform well. We forget that we are not living to earn something, but instead, living to receive and pour out. This semester has taught me the difference in that, and in turn, I have learned that Jim Elliot’s quote does not mean “be everywhere”. We think we can be everywhere and be friends with everyone, but we just cannot do it. There are not enough hours in the days nor enough relational capacity in us. We tend to forget that Jesus had twelve disciples— and of that, he had three best friends. We also forget that Jesus spent a lot of time in solitude, away from the masses, in prayer. And that is what it means to be all there. Jesus lives out this quote and has given us the ultimate blueprint to do the same.
Inorder to be all there, you must be all in with Him. You need to be rooted and fully present with Him. And your relationship with Him needs to go above any other relationship —because it is in that relationship where you will be able to receive and then pour out. When we receive, we can then be present, intentional, and invested into those the Lord has placed in front of us.
I used to view this quote as being “all there” with everyone I meet, but now, I see this quote as one telling me to “be all there” with Him, where I am.
And the funny thing is, once you are all there with Him, you also become fully present with the people are with. Because, when the focus is on Him and away from ourselves, we are not seeking to receive in friendships, but instead, seeking to pour out.
I very much struggle with choosing to pour out and then receive and it always leaves me shattered. I start to think that I am an unbreakable vase, when in reality, I am a glass vase with fragile written all over it. It takes me being dropped, and shattered, to realize that I am in fact far from unbreakable. I am breakable and breaking (a lot).
My good friend William helped encourage me with 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 and I want to encourage you with the same:
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Read that a couple times and let that truth sink in. It is one thing to read over that verse, and it is another to try to live it out. I don’t know about you, but at times I find it very difficult to be content in weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. But again, this is where the theme “bold in weakness” shows up in my heart time and time again. He keeps constantly reminding me that I am breakable, fragile, and weak. But, He is the glue to the shattered pieces. He breaks us to build us and that is scary and beautiful all at the same time.
Friends, the battle has been won already. We need to stop fighting to earn what has already been freely given to us. We need to start recieving and then asking where it is that He wants us to be poured out. We need to remember that where ever we are, we need Him and we need His presence. One of my favorite songs by All Sons & Daughters, Oh How I Need You, starts out with these lines:
Lord I find You in the seeking
Lord I find You in the doubt
And to know You is to love You
And to know so little else
I need You
Oh how I need You
Oh how we need Him in order for us to really start “being all there.” be with Him and be with people He puts in front of you. Disconnect to connect. Allow yourself to be fully engaged and get to know the people in your path.
Continue to seek out the Jesus in people and as Bob Goff says, “Every time we see people as ordinary, we turn the wine back into water” —and so with that, lets view people as far more than ordinary. Lets stop assuming, and start pursuing. Lets read more than just the summary— lets read into someone’s full story. Lets earn the right to be heard. And lets be present with Him and with those around us.
It is 1 am right now and I know these thoughts are jumbled. But, this is what the Lord has on my heart and in order for me to fully comprehend what He is trying to teach me I have to write it out. Usually, I write this kind of stuff out in my journal and I then maybe later clean it up and write a blog post after my heart is done feeling all the emotions of the words on my journal pages. But tonight, I wanted to come in my shattered pieces and be so real with what He has put on my heart. Tonight is just one of those nights where I am at an overflow. I realized that I had been trying so hard to be present with people but forgot to be present with Him. I hit exhaustion and I hit a weak place. My fragile sign proved to be true. But, I am learning that that is okay.
It is okay to be weak — in fact,we all are — some are just better at hiding their fragile sign. Give that fragile sign to Him and allow Him to become strong in your weakness. Learn what being content in weakness and hardships means. And remember to be present with Him first. Receive His grace— because friends, it is sufficient for you.
Rooting heavily for you and praying that He leads you to be content.
You are His and You are dearly loved.