The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. -- Psalms 34:18
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Prayer and Plows
The Lord, I want to say, is near to us all. I look at a statement like this and think about how we are drawn to comfort a friend or family member who is physically ill, going through trials, or suffering in some other way. Jesus called the One whom the Father would send the Paracletos -- our Comforter or our Helper (John 14:16). Our God does comfort and sustain the afflicted.
Yesterday, I talked about being broken through prayer that we might bring the Light of Christ into the world’s darkness. I can’t say that brokenness must always precede blessings, but it certainly seems that way sometimes. As long as I can handle things, God steps back and allows me to find my limits. “God helps those who help themselves” is not a direct quote from the Bible though a similar concept may be found. We can do what we know to do. Pray for the Lord to bless your garden with rain and sun in season, but you are still going to need to plant the seeds and pull the weeds.
As Christians, we should cultivate brokenness: For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem … (Jeremiah 4:3-4). This is the opposite of resignation, lethargy, sloth, or apathy. We are, if anything, hypersensitive about our own disobedience and stumblings, quick to admit our faults and careful to turn from anything that might grieve the Spirit. Prayer is the plowshare for heart soil.
While it is essential that I remove the beam from my own eye first, when I can see clearly, with the humility that comes with the knowledge of my own imperfections, I also must be grieved by the sin around me in the world. Revival ought to begin in my own heart, but it ought not end there. Salvation is good news. Christ is hope and deliverance, healing and wholeness, light and life and joy and peace. Like the bread He multiplied when He broke it, He will always be more than enough to meet the need.