I woke up this morning with a heavy heart, literally. I was overcome with this feeling of weight on my chest. I was burdened. I felt like this last night before falling asleep, but I thought it would pass and everything would be fine in the morning. It didn't pass. It isn't as if anything is wrong in my world. I mean we are all healthy, the bills are paid, and life should be just fine...so what is this?
On the way to take Aidan to school I started praying. I was asking my Father what this was, what is going on with me, why does everything feel so heavy? He answered me and this is what He said. I will refer you to this post I wrote a while back. At the end of it I shared a short prayer that says...Lord, forgive me for not being able to pray your Kingdom to come and really mean it. God is answering that prayer. He is opening my eyes to so much that I can barely stand it. I feel overwhelmed by what I am being exposed to. It seems like everywhere I look I see pain and disparity. I see lonely people looking for anything to make them whole. I see people desperate to push God away with anything they can get their hands on because He is simply too much. He is too much for us to handle in our sinful minds, He is too much. I see lost people doing it, I see the "church" doing it, and I see myself doing it.
God is showing me this...I can pray to see more of Him and He will show me more, but am I really ready for that. It makes me think of Moses and how the Lord told him he would only let Him see the back of Him as He was passing because Moses could not stand the weight of the unveiled Glory of God. And then the Israelites were also unable to look on Moses directly because the glory of God still shown upon him. They could not even handle the reflection from the back of my Lord. His glory shines brighter than my eyes can handle. His holiness is more pure than anything I can comprehend. It is just too much and I cannot handle it so I hide. I hide to protect myself from the pain that comes when He shows me my sin. When he shows me how unworthy I am to call Him Father. The closer I get, the longer I sit at His feet the less I feel worthy to do it. I can repeat the words...I am not worthy, I am not worthy, I am a man with unclean lips. That is who I am and my lips are not clean because my heart is not pure. He is Lord and He is full of mercy and I praise Him for that. It is only by His grace that I am justified.
But because it is just too hard to see myself this way, to see this world from His view I continues to hide. I hide by consuming myself with the things of this world. I hide by taking up hobbies and shopping and eating. I hide. None of these things are wrong in and of themself but when they keep me from seeking my Father they become wrong. When they keep me distracted from sharing the Lord with those around me they are wrong. Lord, I am getting the beginning glimpses of being able to honestly say...thy Kingdom Come, and soon! God, you are so faithful to answer even my halfhearted prayers!
So I am burdened...I am burdened by the fact that I get so consumed with stuff. I am burdened that the "church" in some strange way seems to secretly encourage materialism. Secretly encourage chasing the American dream. Secretly encourage early retirement and a life of luxury. I say secretly because we can't say it outwardly, but isn't it true. Isn't that what so many of us seek. Isn't that why I just spent over a $150 dollars to get my kids dolled out for Easter? Who is that for? Who does that glorify? Isn't that all about me? How many of us in the "church" did this? Please hear me say, I don't think this is wrong, it is just one of the many ways I get my priorities all mixed up and focus on the things that distract me from the Lord and Celebrating His resurrection.
I am burdened by the fact that my safety and security feel so easily threatened. Isn't that because I am not fully trusting Jesus? I am burdened by our culture and our consumption. Consumption of everything from food, to clothes, to people. We are consumers that is what we are good at. I am burdened by the fact that when people do decide to make a bold move for the Lord, that if it is a move that strips security and safety, that the greatest discouragement comes from the members of the church. I feel burdened that I live here and I have never really contemplated what my role should be in bridging the cultural and economic gap. And I am burdened that right now I sit here thinking maybe I should just delete this entire post because, well, because it is too much and I feel vulnerable even putting it out there.
God has led me to a place of feeling burdened so now I turn to Him and say Yes, I see it. Yes, I want to look away. I want to scream it is too much. I can't take it and what am I supposed to do with this. That is where I am, but because I know that He is Lord and He has revealed this to me I will choose to sit here, with this burden and ask Him what can I do? Reveal to me my role. Help me to see the next step that you are putting before me, because I feel compelled to do something. I will wait for you to show me where you want me.