Friday, July 29, 2011

Disaster Recovery

I was trying to think what the right word or phrase for life immediately following a retreat, or any other knee-bending move of God, might be.  "Damage control" was my first inclination, but it's definitely wrong.

For one thing, "damage control" implies that I regain control.  Part of the goal of surrendering to Jesus is relinquishing control altogether.  "Let go and let God," right?  "Jesus take the wheel" and the whole car too while you're at it.

Furthermore, there's the whole "damage" thing.  Have I sustained damage to my old life?  More like destruction. Damage implies there's some hope for recovery or that whatever is damaged is only partially incapacitated.  Destruction says there's no hope for getting it back or for returning.

"Disaster" covers the topic of destruction fairly well.  Disaster seems to come with depression, desperation, and plenty of other d-words.  I think now I understand a little better why Jimmy Needham (is it need-ham or need-Him?) sings, "I need You like a hurricane," and no it doesn't mean the same thing as "I need you like a hole in my head."

God the Father has done it again in my life.  He has brought my self and my plans to the disaster stage.  Everything that was in my old way of life has been utterly destroyed.  Yeah, I could go back, but it'd be like that dog returning to his vomit (go ahead and think about that one for awhile, I'll even give you the scripture reference: Proverbs 26:11 and II Peter 2:22).

I left for the Ashram as someone who tended to do a minimal amount of seeking God in prayer, intercession, worship, etc.  I signed up for Prayer Vigil on the first night at midnight, and even before I walked in I knew i couldn't just walk in any old way.  For those unfamiliar with the Christian Ashram, the Prayer Vigil is similar to the inner court of the temple in relation to Ashram, or at least it should be treated as such.  It's a 24-hour prayer room that runs for the duration of the week with members taking shifts to pray.  This type of thing is done on a full-time basis at various places in the world including IHOP in Kansas City.  For me, I wanted to go in and seek the Lord in the Prayer Vigil on behalf of the rest of the camp, but I didn't want to be foolish about it.  I knew i had to humble myself and surrender to the Lord.

During that hour on the first night, I read out of Malachi because I felt the Lord leading me to pray against divorce.  On the way out, I headed back to my dorm and another verse from Malachi popped up: "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?" (Malachi 1:6).  I've called Him my Father throughout my life, now it's time for me to live it out.  I couldn't just leave the Prayer Vigil and go straight to sleep, I had to seek the Lord for myself for a word before bed.  I had to honor Him with nobody watching just as much as I'd honor Him with everybody around me.

Other things broke when this storm hit, too.

  1. That "need" to read my blogroll or to check FaceBook or my email waned.  I needed to hear from God, not from others, no matter how much I love ya'll.
  2. Somehow I caught myself spending most of a week without looking around for my wife.  Maybe I realized she wasn't around and consciously put it aside.
  3. I started giving up sleep for the things of God.  Seriously, He is more important than sleep, isn't He?  Granted, I can still only do a few days on 3-5 hours of sleep before I have to have a sleep-a-thon, but I can still find the motivation to sacrifice sleep for Jesus.
"Disaster" definitely speaks to what I'm going through here.  "Recovery" does, too.  The Lord is a restorative God, bringing us back from destruction and rebuilding us.  It doesn't mean I have to be the one doing the recovering, as the modifier does in "damage control."  I'm being built back up into the man of God I am supposed to be, empowered by the Spirit as I have been before -- only now with more maturity and wisdom.

Something tells me I needed this hurricane.

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