18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 thatthe creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
Romans 8:18-27 (NIV)
For someone who is expected to get up and speak in front of people, I find that more and more, I do not know what to say. I am not talking about having difficulty writing and delivering sermons. That isn’t always easy, but I do manage to do it. I am not talking about sitting down with people and “shooting the breeze” either. Anyone who has spent time with me knows that I have absolutely no problem carrying on a conversation. I can talk with the best of them, my wife will testify to that. So…what am I talking about?
I am trying to spend more time sitting down, just me, the Bible, and God. I am trying to listen to Him when He speaks to me. Most of the time it is through the written word, but I do feel His Spirit move me as well. I think that is something we all experience and we can take comfort in knowing that God told us He would do that for us.
The trouble I have is when I try to respond. It is easy to go to God with a list of names and rattle them off mindlessly. I have done more than my fair share of that. But I want more. I know that prayer is more than throwing out requests at God and hoping that they’ll stick.
I am finding that I am spending more time just sitting still…in silence. It’s not that I don’t have a list to go over…trust me…it gets bigger every day. Since moving up here I have had more time to just “be still” and let God speak. I have taken many long drives with no radio. There isn’t much to choose from when I’m up in the hills so I usually leave it off. It is in those moments that I become speechless. Sometimes I pray out loud while I am driving…sometimes I just pray in my head. Either way, I try to use that time in the car as an extension of my daily devotions and prayers.
As I have been doing this…something weird has happened. I can’t say anything. Often I will begin with the list for the day and before I know it…I can’t continue. It may sound strange to some but I believe the Spirit takes over in those moments and does what it is that He does. I find myself overwhelmed…sometimes by joy…sometimes by grief. The passage I quoted above says that the Spirit will speak for us. He knows the innermost secrets of our hearts. He knows what we need even when we don’t. He goes before the Father for me…when He knows that I can’t.
We are told over and over that we should stop and have daily quiet time. I am truly starting to see (and experience) the benefits from doing so. I wish I could sit here and say that I do it every day. I wish I could present my personal life as the example for all to follow…but I can’t. I still get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. I still get distracted. I still stumble. I think that is why those moments are so special and powerful. They allow me the opportunity to decompress in the presence of God and let Him do His thing.
There are so many things in this life that can bring you down. Sometimes it feels like we are walking through Psalm 23…for real. Death and darkness are all around and we are overwhelmed. We need to take comfort in the fact that He is still with us. We need to give in and realize that sometimes we can’t make it on our own…and we don’t have to.
You don’t have to put up a fight.
You don’t have to always be right.
Let me take some of the punches for you tonight.
Listen to me now.
I need to let you know.
You don’t have to go it alone.
Sometimes you can’t make it on your own.