Z is for Zeal

Z is a very shy letter that rarely interacts with our vocabulary on a daily basis.  We always say from “A-Z” (actually we don’t even say that very much) and it’s here that Z gets its greatest exposure.  The number 0 is, by contrast, very popular and it’s here Z could get some much needed press, but sadly the number is more meaningful as a typed out hole rather than a word.

So if I were to give “z” some attention, it would be with the word “zeal”  because one of my life’s central struggles has been in the lack of this property.  But this past season (especially in the A-Z challenge), I have begun to see a turnaround.  I’ll preface this with saying I cannot give glory to myself or to some man, but all of my praise and hope is in the Lord that made and saved me.  I’ll also say I cannot fathom it.  I don’t understand what particularly is the purpose of this blessing because I don’t know the future.  Sometimes I think something big, either wonderful or terrible, is about to happen and I’m simply being prepared for it.  Other times I think I’m being prepared to share the blessing with others.  However, I really shouldn’t be so naive as to think that two possibilities can, or even should, be separated from one another.

Watch any body builder lift a weight, drop it to its original position, and then lift it again.  You’ll see him exhale, always in the exertion of lifting, and inhale in the relax of  the drop.  On a physiological level, the man must inhale so he can exhale.  But there’s also a special property of exhalation in that it tightens the muscles and prepares them to be used.  At the heart level, the man relaxes and grounds himself in the humbling security of each drop, but expresses that confidence in the reaching forward of the lift.  Each side must give to the other and the more it gives the greater amount it can receive in return only to give it back again.  The relationship between the two creates a forward momentum that is simply beautiful because of its sacrificial nature.

In the same way, zeal is the resultant action of what has been built up in faith and finds its own increase by supporting the building up of its origin in faith.  For myself, I am just beginning to experience the exhale and power of zeal.  In my earlier years, I was never one to openly reject the gospel but was dead (at best shriveled) in faith.  I do remember the night in Oct ’09 where I found that faith sealed and brought to life.  The night where I knew who I was in the eyes of God.  Yet since then it’s mostly been one steady long inhale of faith with a few polite coughs along the way in the utilization of that faith.

Recently in the last six months I have begun to sing.  When it started I thought it was an accident.  But to my bewilderment it’s gotten louder and more apparent.  This half a year has not been easy in the least, in fact it’s been one of the most arduous because of major lifestyle shifts.  Since the taking on my new job and the leaving of my original community, I feel crushed by isolation and ceaselessly bombarded to fall back into my old ways.  But I’ve also had an experience of zeal for God and His people.  I don’t just want to read my Bible every day, but with eagerness I seek to be transformed by it every day.  I am always unsatisfied in the failings to give out my heart to others and yet I find security in the example and promise of almighty God who lives inside of me.  I am excited when convicted of sin so that God’s glory might be radiated in the trenches of my life.  I am emboldened in faith when I see the victory of the Spirit in cutting through people’s insecurities and doubts through the active expression of blessings for which I was created.  This is a very strange thing!

At the tail end of this A-Z challenge,  I can openly say I do not know where this blog is headed.  And yet I cannot care at all that I don’t know.  Let’s just keep on going.


2 Responses to “Z is for Zeal”

  1. Zeal is an often misunderstood word. Congrats on finishing the A_Z run, and hope to see your reflections post linked up here:

    —Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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