Spurgeon once told a group of pastors, “When a man is upstairs in bed, and cannot do any hurt, you pray for him. When he is downstairs, and can do no end of mischief, you do not pray for him.”
I tend to be impatient when someone tells me a story. While the storyteller rambles on about this or that, I think to myself, “Just get to the point, bro.” (Though, in all honesty, it’s usually a gal). But you can only imagine how I feel when my TV show is interrupted by a commercial. To be honest, I have a hard time imagining it, too, because I never watch TV. But you get the point.
I would be concerned if, when getting out of bed each morning, I had no thought of communing with God. If the demands of my day kept me from He who alone provides my every breath (Acts 17:25). If the notifications on my smartphone spoke louder than the cries of my desperate soul. If the urge of extra sleep kept me from spending time with the One who has awakened my soul from death to life (Eph. 2:5).
It’s a cry from my heart. A longing of my soul. I desperately desire to be found humble at the feet of Jesus.
I’ve been the one surrounded by people after preaching a sermon. I’ve been the one who gets a standing ovation. I’ve been the hesitant recipient of praise from people. And through it all, my heart cries, “Keep me humble, Lord.”
After all, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18 ESV).
Prayer is one of my biggest battles. My flesh often fights against a spiritual desire to pray. And I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because my prayers make a difference.
I recently spoke with two individuals going through tremendous difficulty. And they convinced me of something. Both of them are much older than me. More experienced in this thing called life. And here I am, a young preacher, learning to grapple with empathy.
How am I supposed to speak into that level of pain? I mean, I don’t know what it’s like to be in their shoes. But I’m called to be present in their situations.