It's a beautiful Texas morning! Or at least I think it would be if I could see the sky. It's raining today, raining hard. We call it a "frog choker". The sound of the abundance of rain is wonderful and we are very thankful for it.
It rained at church yesterday too. The sky was beautiful outside and on the inside I felt the presence of His Holy Spirit. I am preaching a series on the family. I have received a boatload of complements and requests for copies of the messages. I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand it is good to know that the Spirit is connecting through me. On the other I am a little frustrated that people seem to respond so well to topical messages I preach rather than more exegetical messages. Since exegesis means "to bring forth" I guess that it what I am doing with the Scriptures I used in my message yesterday, "Raising Godly Children".
The rain however, was not in the message but in the response. Several young people from a local Foster Home Ranch came forward. If you ever want an earnest prayer meeting just take a serious request from a hurting child and go to the Father. I cannot even begin to describe it so I won't except for this. I immediately felt as if heaven was silent, anxiously awaiting the appeal.
In the afternoon we had a wedding. We had decided a couple of Church Council meetings ago to have no activities scheduled for this Sunday night due to Spring Break. Now we know it was a God thing. A fantastic and beautiful young lady in our church got engaged recently and the family decided to have the wedding very quickly (two weeks!) because her brother was going to home on leave from Guantanamo. It was a great wedding. It was the kind of wedding that makes you so full of joy for the couple and happiness for the parents that you just can't help but to heap embarrassing praise on them both.
So with all this joy why was I so down yesterday afternoon? So much movement by the Spirit. So much joy among the family. Yet I was grounded, my wings clipped, leaving me feeling useless and lonely. Perhaps some of it is physical exhaustion. I guess some of it was a shared burden for a Brother in Christ who I love deeply. He was hurting so I hurt too. Maybe some of it is the side effects of the seizure medication I am taking. Some of it has to be spiritual warfare. The thought kept bearing down on me that there is so much more work to do. I know I don't do the saving but I still kept thinking, "I cannot save them all"!
If I were counseling from my own grace filled and loving point of view I would tell myself to "build a bridge and get over it"! Thankfully, God sent someone else to deliver the message. Two Godly friends and my Godly wife would not let me wallow but instead threw a rope of prayer around me and pulled me out of the mud. My wife then took me to visit and hold a new baby that the Lord has blessed one of my Bible Study couples with this last week. There is something about "baby therapy" that is amazing, like smelling salts for the soul. All the darkness was not gone but there was a growing light coming over the horizon.
The sound of the abundance of rain is slowing outside yet the amazing thunder of God continues in the distance. I feel like God has thundered His way through the darkness that clouded my heart, washed me clean and restored my vision. Maybe the light on the horizon is not just the sun. In my heart it reminds me of His love shining through. It may not burn through the clouds immediately but it will burn through the clouds certainly.
I hope you are feeling very "up" today.