The Importance of Laying (It) Down
By: Lia Martin
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” – Luke 5:12
Throughout the Bible we encounter real people who for their own unique reasons are ‘lying face down,’ or ‘falling to the ground’ or surrendering to some version of full-on worship or humility. Little did they know God was accomplishing some very important work in these moments, tying them all together into a story that restores even today.
Thanks to so many before us who were willing to lay it down, lie prostrate, or surrender...you and I can always know that our desire to fall flat sometimes is shared in good company.
And I’m guessing your reasons, and mine, will be all over the spectrum of life...need for rest, overwhelm at God’s beauty, longing for wisdom, or any limitless versions of laying our hearts at His feet.
For me, lying face down was once my way of clinging to the face of God. My child’s eyes found Him in the wild violets dotting our backyard hillside. Those flowers were never afraid. And even as a child, when face down among them, I was overwhelmed by the grace of their Creator. While elsewhere anger raged, fear threatened, and confusion reigned, He led me to a position of peace: face down, surrendered to His work at hand.
Like the leper in Luke 5, God always knows what’s ailing us. And He loves us right through it, when we’re willing to flatten out our puffed-up perfection and ask for his healing. He also knows what takes our breath away. And he will hand-pick those knockouts and serve them up with such surprise that you’d better be laying down when His wonder rolls. You just can’t pray up or script out the works of His hand that will have you on your back in praise and awe.
I was reminded of this the other day when a friend of mine suggested we rent kayaks. I was amazed by the winding river of glass hugged with lily pad blankets. I had to stop rowing and just lay all the way back. Above me the blue sky blazed, and cotton clouds morphed in a rhythm that harmonized with the song of my heart. Had I not been laying back; I’d have missed their dance. And the unspoken voice that invited me: Take my hand, child.
There are times when Biblical heroes fell down in amazement, in pure confoundment, in prayer, in fear. Abraham fell on his face. Moses stretched out his arms. King Solomon knelt. My favorite is knowing that our Savior also set the example. Even while giving his life to save you, me, and the world.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew 26:39
As You will. I encourage you to seek God’s will over your own life, by regularly laying not only your anxieties down (1 Peter 5:7), but your ‘self’ as well. Either in praise and amazement on your back, for his rest and strength, or in tears, face-down in reverence of what He allows to whittle you holy.
Lia Martin loves her job as Faith Editor at Crosswalk.com, sharing writers’ true stories and deep dives into the Word and its works in the world. She celebrates seeing God in wildflowers, hiking, poetry, and her beloved daughter and son. Her book, Wisdom at Wit’s Endexplores how to simplify the pressures of parenting-to-perfection and to let God lead instead.
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