According to online dictionaries, reverberation means the persistence of a sound after its source has stopped, caused by multiple reflection of the sound within a closed space. Another meaning is continuing and serious effects. To reverberate is a verb whose origin is Latin with an early meaning of drive or beat back.
Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ Jesus, the day our savior defeated death and rose in triumph for us. The Father loved us so much, He sent His only begotten son to save (liberate, drive away, or beat back from eternal death) all who believe in Him – an action that continues to echo thousands of years after Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and victorious rising. A Christian’s two primary objectives are to take up the cross daily and to help others become fully devoted followers of Jesus. Said another way, our aim is to continuously walk along His lighted path while resonating the good news of the gospel to others – actions that have a long-lasting powerful impact. But each of us is wired differently and we are given unique talents to use to accomplish the objectives.
I recently engaged in a conversation with someone whose profession posits the principle that “a person’s greatest place of pain is their greatest place of power and their area of weakness is their area of gifting.” The theory is that the journey taken to explore dark, hidden places to uncover our God-given riches is the same route that leads us to our purpose. To go there is to be willing to enter a game where in the first round of the first hand someone will play a cut card (not a 2, another low number, or even a face card – but a joker) and be willing to play on faith that you will not only win the hand but also the game and the set. To go there is to go deep into dark and hidden places, like caves and tunnels, with the understanding that the light on the other side is not a train, but your treasure. Casting Crowns tells us in Courageous, “We were made to be courageous. We were made to lead the way. We could be the generation that finally breaks the chains. We were made to be courageous. We were made to be courageous! Where are you, men of courage? You were made for so much more. Let the pounding of our hearts cry. We will serve the Lord.”
When I first heard the concept a few weeks ago, it took me for a loop and has had me in a perpetual state of “hmmm” since. I immediately knew it would cause tremendous growth in my life but comes with equal parts excitement and uncertainty. If my true desire is to serve the Lord, I must be courageous and strike out on a journey to discover my treasure and authentically live out my purpose. Romans 8:28-30 tells us: “28 We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. These are the people God chose, because that was his plan. 29 God knew them before he made the world. And he decided that they would be like his Son. Then Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. 30 God planned for them to be like his Son. He chose them and made them right with him. And after he made them right, he gave them his glory. (The Message)
I have struggled cognitively to wrap my mind around the full meaning of the concept and how polar opposites (pain/weakness and power/gifting) can be so closely connected. Although I am aware of many of my pain points and weaknesses, I am grappling with identifying my power and gifting. As I have begun my deep dive, here is what I have discovered: Pain is one of God’s teaching tools and a catalyst for change. Weakness is an insurance policy that as believers, we will remain reliant on Him. Power is the ability to leverage influence. It is a field of understanding based on experience. Gifting is a place of aptitude or deep-seated sturdiness discovered from many failings; in other words, zero to hero after many tries at many things many ways until it not only works, but efficiently so, based on the unique talents we each possess.
I know this is not an academic exercise. It is one of trial, error, and prayer, but will lead to living out my purpose. An example of this is my friend who spent decades as a nurse, a lifetime bringing compassion and healing to others. She came from a restrictive, closed environment where caring for others was not a priority. She knows firsthand what it is like to be treated badly. She applied those lessons to her tradecraft and leveraged positive influence on generations of others in the medical field. She felt as if she didn’t add much value when she attempted mechanical/object-oriented work. Her meaning came from interactions with people. Looking through the cold-heartedness of others, she found compassion in her treasure chest. Her difficulties working with things revealed the riches in relationships. She was daring enough to examine her pain and weaknesses to discover her power and gifting. Her journey led her to her purpose – a half century of compassionate healing; a hope for better things to come.
The questions I am now asking are: What were my catalysts? What did I go through and/or do to initiate the liberation process? What did I learn? What did God reveal through His word? What areas of my life do I have the most influence or potential for influence? How am I using it for good or in a way that is helpful? Although I am just beginning this exploration, I know it will be adventurous and I am eager to begin living out the reason for my existence. In I Am, Mark Shultz tells us, “I am the fount of living water, the risen son of man, the healer of the broken, and when you cry, I am your savior and redeemer, who bore the sins of man, the author and perfecter, beginning and the end – I am.
This season of lent gave us an opportunity to reflect deeply on our source of life and gain a keen understanding of the price that was paid to provide it to us. As we focused on His word and its effects on our life, hopefully we directed others to the trough of truth by reverberating His love and understanding. His death and resurrection created a composition that continuously resounds the will of the Father and the plans and promises he has for His people to build His kingdom here on earth. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 says, “Hey, Death! What happened to your big win? Hey, Death! What happened to your sting? Sin came into this world, and death’s sting followed. Then sin took aim at the law and gained power over those who follow the law. Thank God, then, for our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, the Liberating King, who brought us victory over the grave. (The Voice)
So now…Roll with me! How deep are you willing to dig to find your treasures and discover your purpose – your role in God’s reverberation plan? As Francesca Battistelli tells us in It’s Your Life, “This is the moment. It’s on the line. Which way you gonna fall? In the middle between wrong and right, but you know after all. It’s your life. What you gonna do? The world is watching you. Every day the choices you make say what you are and who your heart beats for. It’s an open door. It’s your life. Are you who you always said you would be? With a sinking feeling in your chest, always waiting for someone else to fix you; tell me when did you forget to live the way that you believe. This is your opportunity to let your life be one that lights the way.”