Unusual title? Yes…but, I think you will see why I chose this phrase for my title in a moment. This double entendre phrase has much to think about in both contexts. But, first I have to clarify that “YOU” in the phrase refers to God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Now you are starting to get it, right?
Next, I need to explain the meaning of the word “be”. It has many meanings, yet the one that is the most interesting, the most pertinent to this phrase – and the hardest, is “to remain unmolested, undisturbed, or uninterrupted”.
God calls us to simply BE. We get so caught up in the DO that we forget to BE…. “Being” is not thought of as an active verb, yet to remain unmolested, undisturbed or uninterrupted in our walk with the Lord, requires a great deal of action. That action is stillness. Oh, that is so hard! We want to be running, or at least walking for the Lord. That feels “Christianly” and it suits our humanness perfectly. It holds the connotation that if we are doing for the Lord we must be pleasing the Lord.
Both contexts for this phrase will obliterate the idea that we can, should or must do anything to please the Lord.
May I be as it becomes YOU: The first context is so simple…yet hard to grasp. As we are quiet and still remaining:
unmolested by the world’s influence
undisturbed by the trials and tragedies of life
…and uninterrupted in our focus on God we will become more like Him.
Remember your teacher in elementary school correcting you when you asked “Can I please go to the restroom”? What was the correct way to ask that question? “MAY I please go to the restroom?” Because it was not a question of if you were capable of walking to the restroom, but rather, if you could have permission to leave the classroom. I know it seems like a silly memory to bring up, but notice the phrase is, “May I be as it becomes YOU”. In other words, we have the capability to fulfill the rest of the phrase. It is within our grasp, not because of something we are doing, but because of our “BEing”.
I am not suggesting that we wil ever become God or “a God’ like those in the New Age movement teach. What I am saying is that as we are still and allow Jesus to work in our lives we will become more like Him in our daily thoughts, actions and reactions. There will be less of us and more of Him showing to others. We are being as it becomes Him.
Perhaps a somewhat old-fashioned, but very descriptive word in this next context is “becomes” or “becoming”. It means to flatter a one’s appearance or to be suitable, fitting and appropriate. This second context of this petition: “May I Be as it Becomes You”, is simply an admittance that we desire to be becoming to God. Flattering to God’s appearance because we are suitable, fitting and appropriate. That is such a beautiful thought to me. That I could be flattering to God, suitable, fitting and appropriate seems an impossible feat. And, it is without the precious work of Christ on the cross. Because of Christ, God sees you and me through the blood that Jesus spilt and our image is pure, spotless and without blame -flattering or becoming to God. So, the second half context of this petition is already a reality if we have believed in Jesus as our savior.
Did you get what I just said? The second context doesn’t have anything more to do with what I do, or don’t do, than the first context did. What a resting place! What a joy! Not “CAN” I Be as it Becomes You…but rather “May” I and the Fathers says “Yes, not only may you – but you ARE”.