I am beginning to get sores on my knees from praying for people I love who are messing up their lives. Small groups meet. Sermons get preached. Pleas get made. Prayers get prayed. Still, lives implode. It never ends.
Lives do not implode because they have to. No one makes anyone give up on a marriage. No one forces anyone to live in constant denial of their financial condition. No one requires that anyone refuse to examine their relationship with their children. In the final analysis, lives implode because people are not willing to do the hard work of living in truth. No wonder so many will not face the truth about their lives. If one is not willing to conform his/her life to the truth, one is probably best off not knowing what it is.
More and more my life is about picking up the pieces of the broken lives of people I love. Today I prayed, “God, I’m tired of praying for my friends who don’t care enough about their lives to learn to live them well.” I know those are strong words, but I’m feeling emotional right now.
I don’t know who reads this blog. Not as many as I’d like. But if you are reading this right now, and you are about to step off a cliff (and that number is always greater than I know at any given time), I beg you to reconsider. I beg you to get help. I beg you to swallow your pride, to repent of your refusal to open your eyes, to fall on your face before God and commit yourself to doing what is right no matter the cost.
God loves you. God cares for you. In fact, God cares for nothing greater than your happiness, but it is not to be found on the path you have carved for yourself. It is not to be found in the arms of someone else. It is not to be found in the next dollar you spend or the next drink or roll of the dice. If you want to live in peace and be happy, you must conform your life to the nature God gave you. God created you to crave fulfillment and you will only find that fulfillment in him. God created you to need him, and if you are not seeking happiness in him, then, my friend, you do not know what you need.
My heart aches to see you be healed. And as much as it burns to see those who are not Christians come to know Christ, it burns even hotter to see those who claim to be Christians actually living their lives under God’s blessing. It is not God’s will that your marriage be in shambles. It is not God’s will that you be at odds with your children. It is not God’s will that you continue to reap the consequences that always come from living in darkness.
Pastors live in the pain of other people. The deepest pain is the pain we feel when our people (actually, God’s people) choose to stumble around in darkness and don’t realize how they are reeking havoc in their lives and the lives of those around them. We see the train coming. We sound the warning. We plead. We pray. Sometimes we even get angry. Usually in response we get only denial. Denial. Denial. Denial. Then WHAM!!!
I’ve said enough. God has told us clearly how we are to live. We will never find rest until we rest in him. So there. I’ve put it out there. One more plea to the wind. I return now to prayer and mourning for those who refuse to listen.