Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is Your Temple Feeling Heavy?

The video may not be very clear, but the audio is superb.

Hey gang!

I woke up this morning and felt I needed to share from my heart today. Yesterday afternoon, I was working and I just felt this overwhelming feeling of depression. It wasn’t so bad that people ought to be coming to my house and hiding the knives, but it was a pretty awful feeling. I told my wife about it and she looked at me a little confused. I wasn’t sure what that meant.

She asked me if I had talked to my mom or dad and then asked me why I felt the feeling. I told her I wasn’t sure, but I was feeling it. She let the conversation drop, but I couldn’t shake the feeling.

I admit, Pastor Van was correct on Sunday when he talked about the idea that praying intensely can get to you if you don’t have an outlet. After we prayed through Sunday school hour for Kim, he invited everyone to stay for at least the praise portion of second service. He had a good idea. Being able to praise God and handing the burden to Him in that praise.

Jesus tells us to come unto Him all that labor and are heavy laden, or burdened, and that He would give us rest in Matthew 11:28. Verse 29 and 30 continue, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” See that Jesus wants us to hand the burden to him. He still wants our intensity to pray, but he also wants us to trust him once those prayers are given that THEY WILL BE ANSWERED.

Does that mean that we stop praying? In sports, we’d call that “the one and done.” Of course not, but when we’re in the battle, God wants us to concentrate on the battle, not on our prayers. The release is going back to what we need to do. It’s us saying, “Lord, I have to focus on what you’ve assigned me to do and I trust you to continue interceding for my prayers even when I am not praying them.” That’s hard, I don’t care who you are. One of the New Hope teens listed in his Facebook status that he was feeling heavy and needed to get a break. Don’t forget, all of us need a break now and then too.

Later in the evening, my wife encouraged me to call a couple of my buddies who are my accountability partners when I am struggling. We chatted about their lives for a little while and then we got around to that heavy feeling that I was still having. I confessed that try as I might in handing the burdens of prayer over to Jesus, I found myself going back to pray more. I jokingly said to both of them that, “You know, this healing business is hard stuff. It drains me.”

It does. Praying for people is intense business. It means to get down in the trench with the people that you are concerned for and walk them out of the trench. Maybe walk isn’t a good word. It’s more like push, pull, cling, grab, carry, boost and hold them in order to get out of the trench. Whatever it takes, help heal and encourage people in their walk, or crawl as the case may be.

However, as I got into the Word last night, I was rebounded. If you’ve been following along, you also know that I am behind in The Bible in 90 Days. That makes me feel bad. I can’t help it. I realize things happen, but when people count on you, you hate to disappoint them. Anyhow, God had me in an interesting place last night. I was reading Daniel.

You can’t help but get Holy Ghost Happy when you read the story of Shadrach,. Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. The story is that these three said no to King Nebuchadnezzar when told to bow to his god and they were thrown into the furnace tied up. If that wasn’t enough, he turned the furnace to seven times hotter than it normally was. Soldiers died throwing them in. Not only did they come out without being singed, they started dancing in there. Can you imagine being in total fire and dancing? “The ROOF, The ROOF, The ROOF IS ON FIRE!” That’s being totally engulfed in Holy Spirit Protection.

It gets better. Jesus was there with them in the fire. The king says that there are four guys in there. He only remembered throwing in three. He stopped the torture and told them to come out. Afterward, he told the people to not say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. That’s what we call conversion. He saw it and was convinced.

Then I read about Daniel surviving in the lion’s den. He hung out with lions all night long and didn’t become dinner. One of my pastor friends did an illustration once of acting as if he was putting his head in a lion’s mouth and went, “See, they don’t want to eat me. I taste like chicken. They want red meat.” His God protected him in the storm.

After doing the study, I went to bed feeling better. I woke up this morning and as I checked my Facebook mail, I noticed that my friend and mentor Tom Zawacki had written a note about feeling broken. He said many things that made me think.

The first is that we are all broken. We cover it up well to the general public. I think if you’d read me for a while, you know I try to keep the conversation real, but even I try to hide sometimes when I’m not feeling well.

The next thing he said that hit home with me was that our culture doesn’t do well in dealing with broken leaders. I’ll take that further. I think our culture doesn’t do well with broken people. They try their little psychobabble book fix and hope that it patches people enough that they’ll shut up about their pain and just live with it.

David tells us in Psalm 55:22 to “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

If you read yesterday’s Marriage Monday, you saw the discussion on the Beatitudes. Blessing isn’t always happy. Sometimes it is down right painful. Tom admits he is blessed even though he has been through two bouts of cancer, but occasionally the pain remains.

That really makes me think about how blessed I am. I haven’t battled cancer. I’m not presently laying in a coma. Comparatively, I’m not suffering at all. However, I am still led to pray as Tom did to close his note this morning. Lord, I am broken. I offer you my heart. Please be gentle. It’s been broken for a long, long time. But I know that you are the Great Physician. And just like you continue to work on Tom, Kim and many others that I love and millions of people I don’t, I thank you and praise you that you continue to work on me.

As I close, I look over at Kim’s update page on Facebook to see if there has been any change. I’ve prayed. All of you have prayed. Lord, we wait. Sometimes not patiently, but still, we wait in anticipation of a miracle that will heal her, make her well and bring her back to all of us. Thank you Jesus for interceding so far and what you will continue to do.

I love you guys!

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