Recently, North Point Community Church featured a sermon series called “Recovery Road”. It was, of course, timely considering what our family and this ministry is experiencing. For those who don’t know, the vision of Seasons of Life Ministries has always been to see those who follow Christ reach maximum devotion to Him in their day to day life, not out of striving and effort but by seeing the roadblocks of their faith removed by His strength, power, and grace. This comes not as we “submit to His will for our life”, rather as we submit to His will for our “now”.
I hope you all get to see this series – it is available for viewing online through NP’s website at this link.
Much of it hit me right between the eyes – personal responsibility, etc. The more recent series is called “When God?”, or possibly more appropriately “When, God?”. It’s about when God seems to be inattentive, uncooperative, or late. At times, don’t we all wrestle with God’s timing and/or response? “Did you hear that prayer, exactly as I prayed it?” Trying to learn what it means to recover from the burnout, wounding, and depression that can so easily befall us in pastoral care ministry, on top of the clinical PTSD diagnosis for Cristine, have forced us both to look at what the word has to say about sabbath rest. We’re often in the business of putting out fires in other peoples work, marriages, relationships, yet we’re called to be available only as and when God would have us. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual/couple to do business with God in the area(s) that’s troubling them.
Would you believe it if Cristine were doing better than I am in entering into that rest? Alright, cat’s out of the bag, right? We spent an entire Sunday at home – watched two church services online, but did everything we could not to “work”. By the end of that day, Cristine was tired, but peaceful. I, on the other hand, looked like a truck had run me over. When she looked at me and said “Are you comfortable just not doing anything, ever?” it pierced my heart. I know mentally I’m comfortable with it, but at a heart level I was challenged in a Holy Spirit get off my chest I can’t breathe kind of way. Challenged to truly ask and answer the questions: “Can you walk through a messy garage the day after the garage sale and not put anything away?” “Can you not look at Facebook, Outlook, or your cell phone for a day?” “Can you trust that all the work you think just has to be done yesterday will still be there for you tomorrow?” and the biggie – “Can you trust God to remind you of that thing you just have to write down, tomorrow and rest?”