I've often tuned out exhortation to make Jesus first, to spend time with God, to make Him our first love, to get refueled by Him and to not get so wrapped up in ministry, that we forget to enjoy our relationship with God. Why? Because these commands seem to me like a exhortation to walk to a man without any legs. I don't feel I know how to spend time with God and I don't know how to make Him first, so now what?
I thought about all this, in light of a part summer when a girl named Lacey volunteered in the ministry I am apart of. Toward the summers close, I knew she was about to leave and I wanted to spend time with her before she left. But she was almost always with Sarah (another girl who worked with me) and Sarah's friends and for some reason when in a group setting and with others, me and Lacey never had much to say. One on one we could talk for hours, but when others were around, but when other we're around we both seemed shriveled up and could not think of anything to ask or say. So these times ended up being a drain. Even though I was spending time with her, I did not really feel like I was. But I had no real other choice, it was either join her with others, or not at all. Likewise, in my relationship with God, I am doing all I know to do, (bible, prayer, worship, etc...) that is considered part of spending time with God. But I don't 'feel' like I am spending time with Him. And when try pray, I feel like my hands are tied, in that I can't seem to focus. I can't think of anything to say or if I do find a word or two, no emotion accompanies it.
In any friendship there will be times when the other person refuels us, gives us life and energy and conversation will come naturally. But then something will change where the same person will drain us, conversations will seem forced and lifeless, etc... But for the sake of the friendship, we must endure these times, and even though it drains the life out of us, we need to spend time with that person, for the sake of the relationship, in hope that eventually things will change, for they normally do.
So all this to say. At times I will have amazing times in prayer and for long periods I will not, but for the sake of the relationship, I need to pray anyways, even when it is empty and makes me feel worse.
To Be Continued...
I was praying at the abortion clinic here in New Orleans and like normal I could not help but ponder what to expect and believe Him for. Especially in light of this messed up world that is predominately evil and is getting worse whether people pray or not. I started singing about how we are in a between time, stuck in the middle, waiting for God to come and establish His rule on this earth. I was wondering what God is willing to do during this time. Right now it seems God has primarily left the world to man, giving them free reign and most of creation is doing what is right in their own eyes and creating hell on earth. Nevertheless, God still gives us taste of His intervention in this time before He returns. Mainly in individuals lives, He transforms selfish mess ups, into generous, gentle, humble and loving mess ups.
But it seems God is very reluctant to bring His kingdom on earth in any glorious external way before the End. He sometimes will do it, but it is extremely rare. Praying and watchfully waiting for it is like staying awake every night, wide eyed, hoping to witness a star explode in the heavens. Or like sitting on a bench in Austin Texas, hoping to see a woolly-mammoth walk by.
Yeah, though the city is built on their bones, should they sit around hoping to see one? I guess when it comes to prayer yes. I dunno. Though we hardly ever see God supernaturally change evil leaders, nor override peoples wills. Though the bad laws stay the same and good righteous leaders are not elected. Though the human trafficking continues, the famines and natural disasters, the corruption, genocide, injustice and murder of the innocent. I guess we should continue to watch the sky and sit on that bench, hoping, waiting, praying and making attempts at being part of the answer by our actions.