Is There a Time to Be Numb?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. 4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4 (NLT)
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
829 The thought of what has happened to you burns within you. Christ came to you when you were only a miserable leper! Until then, you had developed only one good quality, a generous concern for others. After that encounter you were given the grace to see Jesus in them, you fell in love with him, and now you love him in them… (1)
I sit here in my office, wondering how I will finish my sermon tomorrow.
It doesn’t help that the above passage from Ecclesiastes ran through my heart over and over in the early hours of this day.
It doesn’t help that yesterday I ended up grieving three different times, as I interacted with two friends who are suffering, and then wasn’t really able to interact with another close friend, whose husband, a pastor who has sacrificed much, passed away suddenly.
There is time, a season for everything, and it seems I’ve been in the midst of a season of trauma since September.
It’s to the point where I wonder if there are any more tears, even as they flow. It’s where I hesitate with phone calls, relaxing when I see it’s my pharmacy that is telling me my refills are ready.
I wonder to myself, if there is a time to simply be numb……to be so drained that there is nothing left, just a soul that seems empty….
Then I look at the clock and realize, I’ve a sermon for which I have to compose the final manuscript, a congregational meeting to prepare for, a son who waits for me to take him to see Hobbit II in 3d in just 5 and a half hours…Time to kick into high gear…. even as the engine seems to cough and sputter.
Keith Green’s “my Eyes are Dry” comes on my rhapsody player… perfect song for a day like this….
What can be done for old heart like mine…. soften it up with oil and wine, the oil is You! Your Spirit of Love, please wash me anew, in the wine of your Blood.
It’s what I need to hear, this song will get a lot of play today. For there is nothing I can do, to find the strength I need today. It’s going to have to be Him, if it is to be anything at all, if there is to be letter on the screen, if there are going to be words to hear tomorrow… He will have to be the strength I don’t have, for the trauma isn’t being removed. The pain I’ve witnesses will be in places tomorrow, even distant places. How to speak to it? How to show them the journey of History, of Abraham, of Jesus, is about God being here, in these times of numbness, or trauma.
For if I am numb, then He can minister to me, a sort of enforced rest, a time to just let God be God. To slowly arise out of it in awe. To realize the depth of His love, His care for these friends of mine is far more than I can have – but He shall surely show it. And Jesus shall indeed comfort my friends, my dear friends. As He will me. Whether Keith realizes it or not, that last line, the wine of His Blood will have so much to do with it. As we receive His Body and Blood, as we realize once again that we are united with His death, and His resurrection, as we remember the height of His love, and its breadth and width, and that its depth can reach us.
And once again, I realize I don’t have to play God… that He dwells in these friends of mine, and that God will be there for them. Even as He ministers through all of us, in our weakness….
The odd thing is that as I realize this, the numbness begins to recede… it’s time to work….
But may I never forget He is God… and I am not…and that its His work…not mine.
(oh and here is Keith Green’s song – if you aren’t familiar with him, He passed away when I was in high school – but his music still nails me to the cross…. which is good!)
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3408-3412). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.