Heart On Fire

Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)

This is such a powerful verse.

How often do I pray for more laborers? I complain about how there aren’t enough people to help me or support me as I try to serve. But how often do I pray that God send me help?
And I pray for people to believe, to know the love and grace of God, but again, how often do I actually pray for laborers to bring others to Christ?

There is such power in this idea, in my opinion. I mean, what if we all prayed for laborers? What if we all united in purpose?

Can you imagine how full the world would be of hearts on fire for God?

heartonfire

Can you imagine how vast and how great God’s Kingdom would be if we united in purpose and prayer?

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You Don’t Need Jesus ‘Til You’re Here

Yesterday was meltdown number one in the series of meltdowns I am expecting in the next week. You see, I am taking Step 2 in a week; I am scrambling to find somewhere to do elective rotations; the residency application site has officially opened. And I am prepared for so little of it. So yesterday I found myself running across the city, trying to get some of my boxes checked off and trying to force some peace of mind. But the more I tried to “fix” what wasn’t going according to plan, the more my head buzzed. I was feeling helpless and freaked out, and I didn’t know where to turn, when I finally decided there really was only one thing that I could do in my situation: pray. So cliché, I know, but one hour, one WWI Memorial, and a couple Bible chapters later, my mind finally started to quiet down for the first time in a month.

How familiar does this sound? For me, it’s a story I’ve lived over and over.

We run to God when things are going crazy. We look for a Problem-solver when we find ourselves in desperation. But what about when things are going well? What about when everything finally seems to be in place? It is incredibly easy to forget about God when things in life are running smoothly, and to only look for Him when there’s a hitch in our plans.

I spoke to you in your prosperity,
But you said, ‘I will not hear.’
This has been your manner from your youth,
That you did not obey My voice.

(Jeremiah 22:21)

How many of us does this sound like?

It’s great that we run to God when things aren’t going well. It’s a step in the right direction when we recognize our own weakness and where our strength comes from. The problem is when we forget all this because of how well things are going.

Our relationship with God is just that: a relationship. You know that saying, “a friend in need is a friend indeed”? Who came up with that? Who wants to be in a relationship with someone who only hangs around when he needs something? Who would put up with that friend? Not many of us do. And yet we are that friend constantly. We show up at church or finally open our Bibles when something isn’t going according to plan in our lives, and the moment the problem is solved, the Bible goes back on the shelf. Can you imagine how much that has to hurt? The one Person who has been present in all parts of our lives, the One who was beat up, spat upon, wounded and killed out of His incredible love for us, watches as we decide we no longer need Him because “I can handle life on my own.”

But here’s the good news. Jesus tells us, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). We have left. We have betrayed. But just as God accepted Israel after Israel played the harlot, He will accept us.

I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD.

(Hosea 2:19-20)

Here is one of the many examples of when we betray, and He forgives. No matter how many times we have run away, no matter how many times we depended on ourselves or sought after someone else, when we come back we will be accepted.

It’s time to stop being a friend in need and to start being a friend indeed.

Take Me Deeper

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
(“Oceans” – Hillsong United)

Have you ever stopped to think about what you’re really asking God when you pray?

The last month God has been answering this one for me. I’d been listening to it constantly, on repeat, no other music, asking God to please take me deeper and lead me to where I could trust Him fully.
And He answered.
And it hurt.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you’re really asking God when you pray?

It isn’t always easy. It doesn’t always happen the way you think it will. When you ask God, He will answer. It’s how He answers that may be harder than you expect.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you’re really asking God when you pray?

I don’t want to hash out all the details for the whole world to see, but I will share a little bit of what my life has been like the last month.
Wave after wave after wave have been hitting me, beating me down. When I finally become ready to start accepting what life is throwing my way, another one knocks me down.
Had you asked me how things were two months ago, I would have said stupendously! I would have told you how great God was and how He was working out everything so perfectly in my life. My psych rotation was lax. My relationships were flourishing. I felt confident about myself. I still had my Kenya high.
Everything seemed perfect.

But then things started to go the other direction. I started my surgery rotation which left me with no energy. Problems began to arise in almost all my relationships. My grandmother–my best friend and warrior–was hospitalized and needed surgery on her heart. I started feeling hopeless and helpless.
Things were no longer perfect.
Things were far from perfect.
Things were hard.
Things are hard.

But ask me now how great God is.
In the midst of this crazy, stressful, heartbreaking, far-from-perfect life of mine, God is still great.
It may have taken some time for me to remember that. It may have taken weeks of fighting with Him.
But in the end, God is still great. God is still good.

He answered my prayer. He continues to do so. He is leading me deeper into the water than I could have gone myself. He is teaching me to trust Him more than I could teach myself.

Things suck right now. I won’t lie and say how easy of a process it is, because it’s not. But I know that He is working in me more than I realize. And I know that if I didn’t fully submit to His will for me, He could never complete this work to make me perfect.

 

I May Sound Silly to Me and Everyone Else…

There are few mornings where I will pray my agpeya out loud. It’s unfortunate, because that’s the best way to do it. I’m usually rushing myself to finish so I can start studying and prepare for another day of doom (that is, pharmacology).

Today was an out-loud kind of day for me. And I’ll be honest, I’m no Ibrahim Ayad. In fact, I do not sound good. Those of you who know me know that I don’t have the worst voice in the world, but man when it comes to putting a tune to the psalms or the Gospel reading, hoo-wee! I sound like a dying animal to myself!

And yet, I still do it. I still pray out loud when I can, and even though I’m making my ears bleed, it still makes me so joyful. There is a level of peace that comes with praying the agpeya, but then there’s a whole other level of peace that comes with praying it with the elongated, meaningful tunes (accurate or not).

I very highly recommend you try it! It’s wonderful, guaranteed, or your money back! (Not that you’ve paid me anything, but even if you did, you wouldn’t want it back).