The call came....late at night. It was from a friend who was visiting her mother, who lived in the same end of town still, where she grew up.
Her mother had cancer....that's why she'd gone home.
She found herself in the small church of her youth......and ended up on her knees.....eyes filled with tears!
"I was praying for my mum, " she said,...."And then I felt so guilty.......WHY???
Because I'd been away from church....and God, so long...and now.....when I'm desperate, I'm back in church and praying!"
EVER BEEN THERE?
I'm talking about DESPERATE prayer?!
OR the cancer prayer.....or the heart surgery prayer......
YOU CAN SPEND A LIFETIME IN CHURCH..... go through all the motions......and never call out to God as you do.....in pain......and suddenly......you feel guilty!
It's almost as if you've been ignoring a parent....but now.....there's a problem!
A big PROBLEM!
Too big for you to handle so, now, you're bringing it to mum and dad.
You're begging....and through it all you feel so much like a hypocrite.....at least....I do!
I'm supposed to know something about faith and prayer. I talk about it a lot and yes, I pray with others about it, but when I get desperate and really plead with God to do something, I feel like my friend did....in her old church.
It's almost as if God is saying..."Now you're in a mess you come to me..." or...is God saying.....
"Where have you been?" or is God saying....."So, you're not as strong as you think?"
or, as my friend said.... "I just feel I should get my act together, before going back to church..."
I gave her the theologically correct answer..."Going back to God is how you get yourself back together, God does it by forgiving you, then giving you the power and grace to get through it.
It's a fresh start!"
I BELIEVED EVERY WORD AS I SAID IT.....I still do....right now!
My friend told me later that this conversation was one of the keys to her returning to faith and church.
THAT'S A CELEBRATION!
But...... do you ever find that the advice you give some one else, seems to work better for "them"
then what you tell yourself?
Whenever I am in a tough spot, the first thing, ( make that the first few things) is to try and figure out how I can do it myself.
I don't pray first....I don't like to ask for prayer.....
It's like I'm afraid of those "real heart pounding desperate prayers" followed by waiting....patience!
It forces us to do that though, because....we can't fix the cancer.....we can't make money with the snap of our fingers.....we have to wait....we have no other choice...as some one once said..."We find out that God is all we need....when God is all we've got"
In desperate prayers we get closer to God, and that is what He wants.
God longs, yearns to have real conversations with us....not just a quick "hello" followed by asking favours. HE wants to connect with us.
That seems to be the main story lines of the Bible!
It's just a shame that too many have to get desperate, to do it!