Thursday, October 4, 2012
Carpet fiber prayers
It was a "Carpet fiber" prayer morning. "Please Lord, help me get up and do this." That's all. My mind was churning at 2:00 AM. I tried reciting the 23rd Psalm, that usually works when I can't sleep. Not this time. I felt overwhelmed. Life is complicated, people are complicated, and my shoulders were never meant to carry all this.
At break, all I wanted to do was go out to my car and be alone with Jesus.
When you are going through something, or your family is......the situation can become bigger than everything else. Even God.
In a recorded speech, Martin Luther Kings talks about a time when he considered giving up. He had just gotten another phone call, a death threat, threatening he and his whole family. Not long before he had been arrested and thrown in jail for driving 30 mph in a 25 mph zone. He was sitting at his kitchen table, a cold cup of coffee before him. He was trying to figure a way out. How he could turn it all over to someone else and go back to the quiet life of a scholar like he had planned. Here is how he describes that moment:
"I discovered then that religion had to become real to me, and I had to know God for myself. And I bowed down over that cup of coffee. I will never forget it......I prayed a prayer, and I prayed out loud that night. I said, "Lord, I am down here trying to do what's right. I think I'm right. I think the cause that we represent is right. But Lord, I must confess that I'm weak now. I'm faltering. I'm losing my courage."
It was then that he heard an inner voice......."Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo I will be with you, even until the end of the world."
Three nights later a bomb exploded on the front porch of King's home, filling the house with smoke and broken glass but injuring no one. He took it calmly: "My religious experience a few nights before had given me the strength to face it." We have all reached that crossroads, we ask the question: "How can I get out of this?" We can't take another step. We want escape. But it is at that point where the Holy Spirit comes in and does what we can't do. He takes over.......Peter was at that point after he denied Jesus, but what happened just a few days after that? The day of Pentecost!