Last week I submitted a giant paper – 39 pages in total. In high school 4 pages felt like an eternal task to overcome. But somehow I sent in that thing and it felt so good. So good.
So what did I write on?
Well, a whole 3 verses.
It sounds crazy to imagine writing so much on so little, but it’s easier than you might think. The minute I started reading over those verses, reciting and hearing myself speak them, opening books and pulling back the veil on the words, a world opened of connection, meaning and understanding.
Out it came, 3 verses, 4 months, 39 pages and more hours than I could ever count.
Not only was I up before dawn most days to squeeze in some writing before the first peep came from the nursery above, but so many others made this possible. At the beginning of the semester Mark and I assessed what needed to get done for my school along with his work (and our move) and looked at each other knowing we literally could not do this without help. That’s the thing about parenthood – it will get you so dependent on community that no matter what your feelings are prior to kiddos, the minute you have a little one you will need the help of others.
So the paper was made possible by our village. Friends took Eloise for an afternoon when we had no coverage. Family flew down for a weekend while I flew up to school. Others housed and fed me while I was away. And still another drove hours one evening to give me a big hug after a weekend of Hebrew (and a long month of moving).
Those verses demanded more than I was ever prepared to give. So when I pushed submit I was in total shock. I couldn’t believe it. My eyes were red and blurry from staring at the computer for so long, my hair hadn’t been washed in days, and my clothes were on repeat for the nth time that week.
But I was done.
I sat back, exhaled a huge sigh of relief and took a moment to let it soak in. There it hit me.
Revelation comes by hard work. And it will always cost.
We think (hope) revelation has to do with luck. We bank on hitting the jackpot on some beautiful secret of the Kingdom that will provide understanding and intimacy and knowledge of God.
It’s easy to sit in church, at a conference, or listen to a podcast and hear some speaker release this incredible word of insight about God’s Kingdom. They may teach on a scripture we’ve heard for years, but something is so fresh. We’ve never heard it like that before. We leave hungry for more with excitement high and wonder if maybe we can grab hold of some nugget of truth with the same ease as when they taught it.
But not long after, we’re as dried up, burned out, and weary as ever.
Why? Two reasons.
1. We’re camping out in the false land that says the secrets of the Kingdom come by ease, quickness, or luck. They don’t. They never will.
2. We’ve feasted on the revelation of another as if it were our own. We stopped going to the source, willing to trade true nourishment for the quick fix of another’s treasure.
But the truth is that revelation has everything to do with cultivation, hard work, and blistered up hands from digging into the ground ourselves. The words of great anointing that set people free and release the Spirit of God are always anchored in stories of wrestling and struggling and plain old-fashioned hard work.
We say we want to know God more, to understand the greater depths of the Kingdom and to release something fresh upon this earth. But the question is, how much will we let it cost?
Revelation bears the price of life experience and it demands hard work. We can never carry or release a word we have not lived. Knowing God requires patience, seasons of obscurity, struggle or heartache, and a willingness to work hard for our own bread.
The only way to satisfy our hunger to know God is to dig into it for ourselves so we reap what will truly nourish the weary parts of us. There is no shortcut.