An amazing, very personal thing happened. The last couple days, I have been feeling kind of poorly. Stomach has been upset along with bad headaches. That is not the amazing thing, but this yucky illness was the catalyst of what happened.
I was sitting in my chair, looking over my sermon notes for tomorrow. Ministers will understand when I say that what I had prepared just wasn't happening. There was no life in it, so I scrapped it, leaving myself with nothing to bring tomorrow. So I thought I'd just worship the Lord and spend some time with Him alone. There are no kids in the house this weekend, and Tracy is at work.
I was listening to the song, "In the Presence of Jehovah," one of my personal favorites. I was reflecting on how much I love being in His presence, and how much I miss it when I am busy doing other things. In my spirit, I heard the Lord say, "Todd I love YOUR presence too, and I miss you when you're not here."
Say or think what you like. I experienced it, and it was real. I needed that. I have a lot of big decisions coming up, and possibly a move. I am scared yet excited. I needed to break away from the hoopla of life, even from noble efforts like sermon preparation, and hang out with my Father.
Psalm 46:10 says to "Be still, and know that I am God." The phrase, "be still," translates from Hebrew, meaning, "Cease striving." The word "know" is not an intellectual knowledge, it is experiential. Literally, the verse says, "Cease striving, and experience Who I am."
One of my dear friends, a senior Christian lady named Fran, told me that she told the Lord she was going to forego some household obligations and spend some extra time with Him, and according to Fran, she heard the Lord say, "Oh goody." I was reminded of a verse in Zechariah which says that the Lord, "spins around wildly at the thought of us."
I needed these reminders that the Lord enjoys our time with Him as much as or more than we do. For so many of us believers, time with the Lord is a duty, and not the privilege it is intended to be. And it is a privilege for Him, too. When you break it all down, Christianity really is all about relationships: loving God, and loving one another, in that order. Church should be about building and celebrating these relationships, but we'd rather we hide ourselves in religious pomp and circumstance, call it a day, and get out of there as quickly as possible so we don't actually have to speak to anyone.
My mission on this earth, whether it is as a pastor, husband, father, biker, wrestler, DJ, etc., is to help people build and celebrate these relationships with God and one another.
I pray that this will bless you as you read it, and perhaps put a little "wow" in your weekend.