This week’s blog is more personal than usual. Again my work and ministry are in transition. I have walked away from one seemingly completed assignment, without knowing where I am to serve next.
This kind of thing is tough for me. In my flesh and in my spirit, I am someone who needs to always feel useful. I’m restless when required to pause from my labors very long.
Okay, I admit it, I’m a performer. I was raised with this ridiculously stringent work ethic, and it is embedded in my personality and temperament to always be conscientiously pursuing goals. I’m an incurable list maker. For the most part, this peculiarity has served me well.
But I’ve learned that life and ministry are often bruising. Maybe like me you’ve experienced finding a bruise on your body, and you can’t remember exactly where or when the injury took place. I believe this happens to our souls as well. As we’re busily pursuing our goals—which for me involves intense engagement in the lives of other humans—we are getting nudged, bumped, and pressed in ways we do not acknowledge in the moment. Only later do we realize that our souls are sore and tender, and we need to step away and rest.
I experienced this last Saturday. After having left my job with a mixture of grief and relief, I sat under a blanket all afternoon, allowing the Lord to pour his healing virtue into my aching heart. He told me to be still and let him put me back together.
Thank God there is anesthesia for major surgery. We need the anesthesia not only to mitigate the pain, but to ensure that we stay still so the surgeon can do his work.
My next experience of this phenomenon happened as I submitted to a healing prayer session yesterday. Almost immediately in our prayer time, I felt as though Holy Spirit was infusing my body with a profound but very pleasant weightiness that kept me from moving. I became like a statue, held completely still for ten minutes or so in total rest. I’m convinced that he was reaching in and doing expert repair, restoration, and cleansing. I dared not move until I sensed he was finished.
The Spirit’s manifest presence enveloping my body reminded me that he cares for me very personally. He knew that I needed this evidence that it was really him loving and healing me. This was not a “normal” or natural experience; it was a supernatural one.
It is alright for us to endure a period of stress in pursuit of worthy goals. But we must recognize when it is time to allow the Lord to tend to the wounds of the world on our bodies and souls. Our Good Shepherd leads us beside still waters (Ps. 23:2). He tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
Thank you, Lord! You can operate on me any time you please. Hold me still.