Thursday, November 20, 2008
Pressing On = Pressing In
"Then Jesus went with his disciples to a a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray.' He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.'" -Matthew 26:36-38
I feel like there could not be a more incredible example of how necessary it is to press into the Lord to get through tough times. Even Christ had to do it. Knowing the end was near, He pressed into His father. Knowing His soul was "overwhelmed with sorrow", He asked His friends to keep watch so He can go to God in prayer. Even though He confessed to them He was hurting, He took His hurt to God.
Pressing on through the hurt means pressing in to the Lord.
I realize this is almost exactly what I said when I talked about Hannah. But I keep getting smacked in the face with it because I realize that I can never do it enough. I can never press into the Lord enough.
I've always really struggled with "pouring my heart out to God" the way that Hannah did. I'll pray for you, your Grandma, my future, your future, etc. I'll pray for healing. Generically. But I don't pray for God to reveal to me the things in me that need to be changed so that I can heal.
"Hey God, if you could fix it, that would be great. But I'm not really going to put any effort in."
But to pray is to change.
It's like counseling. I remember talking to someone once about their counseling experience. They said that after going once or twice they weren't going back because they left the counselor's office more upset than "if they had never gone in the first place." Um, well, yeah. Counseling hurts. It's like surgery. We are going to pull up all your junk and crap that you have been avoiding, take a look at what is destructive and cut it out with a scalpel. But you'll be healthier once we get it out of you. We have to get rid of the cancer.
Prayer is the same way. Just with God. And surgery scares me.
At 3 o'clock in the morning the other night, (and um, I was up at 3 o'clock because I am newly obsessed with "The West Wing"; thanks a lot Blum) I went from discussing something rationally with my roommate to being a gross, crying mess in her lap. And I realized that my hurts were overflowing out of me because I was not pressing into the Lord enough. I had not been leaving prayer changed because I was asking God to fix it but then I did not do my part.
He's saying, "I'll show you the cancer and you go get it cut out."
And I'm saying, "Um, I'd rather you divinely remove it with a miracle so that it doesn't hurt, actually. Oh... and could you also make sure it doesn't leave a scar? That would be great. Thanks."
Do I trust God enough to believe that the surgery that is being performed in my life is for my best? If I am not really pressing into the Lord and asking what I can do then do I really believe that His Character outweighs my own wisdom? If I did then wouldn't I be pouring everything in my heart out before Him to show me what to get rid of?