I think I should stop counting the times I sink so deep into a tiredness that makes me question the sense of what I am doing and the reason why I am holding on to this job that has compelled me to give more of myself, time, energy, even what seemed like my very life in ways I never thought possible. Ever since I was employed here, I have literally gone back and forth from the doctor’s clinic in hopes of a stronger body and renewed health only to squander it all again.
Believe me, every time I had gotten sick, I have thought of resigning. And with each major health catastrophe, I would always bounce back into the conviction that my time in this place is not yet up. I go back with a firmer resolve to take the inheritance that is rightfully mine, rightfully God’s but mine for the taking.
What does sickness have to do with taking an inheritance? Heck! I do not understand either!
First, it was my blood which lacked something which a prescription of b-complex from Madam physician cured.
Then, it was probably the 6-am dawn prayers 4x weekly that got me spending 15 hours a day at the office. It was a joy to behold the gentle sun beams in the morning, and to shout aloud Psalm 24 from a roof top overlooking the city, the campus we’re praying for, and the thousands of teens in it. But the sad thing is every time I fall ill, I always feel that sense of deprivation. As if the very life I have left is being swallowed by a huge mess. I love praying. I love warring. I love ministry work. But more than anything, I love God. I love His presence. And I love spending time with Him. But work is work and I really miss my one-on-one times with God, something that a corporate service or a fiery intercessory meeting could never replace. I miss my Abba, the lifter of my head. And every time I get sick, I miss Him more. I realize that I losing it. I feel like I am losing the tenderness that once characterized my heart before Him. I am losing the sense of abandon when worship sessions have to time limits or depth limits! When we sing not because a crowd will listen to us the next day. Where we don’t kneel because the pastor asked us to kneel. Where we don’t care about lying prostrate despite the dusty ground.
I am willing to just let go, you know. With one stroke from a pen, one raising of a flag, one string in my heart to snap… I could just let go, and trade it all for the sake of running away again with God. Why should I let myself be swallowed up alive in a culture where time is paid but results aren’t? I wanna scream so loud the words, “GIVE ME FIVE HOURS WITH GOD and I’ll give you results equivalent to a day’s work, or even more. I wanna scream, I was made for His presence and not for a salary or wage that corrodes through time. I don’t need your compensation, I just need to be with Him.
Or I could just quit the 6-am and mellow down into an even more purposeless life.
But then I flip the book around and on the other side I see the silhouettes of those who are waiting to be prayed into life, birthed into salvation, groaned through intercession, preached into repentance, and loved into submission and fullness of life. I realize that I face two painful realities: first, the difficulties and constraints of being under a system that has yet to be redeemed into following Kingdom principles, and second, the fact that real persons waiting to be set free from the shackles of sin.
Why am I here? And is this really the place from which I must intercede? Why am I here? Is there not a better place for me to exercise my gifts and fulfill my purpose? Why here?
And if this is really the place for me, why am I sick? Why do I feel like I’m dying? Why do I feel like I’m warring alone?
As I sat in front of the computer today, I rummaged for someone to ask prayer from. I felt like I needed someone to intercede every day. The was doesn’t really fade a way when you close your eyes and try to think happy thoughts. Sometimes, I feel like people quit praying as soon as a week had passed. Or they mellow down, thinking that there really isn’t any war you’re battling. It’s been more than a year and it has been a year of war. Rests come in between but the war never ceased. I still weep over souls. If only my sickness could save them, but no, only the Gospel will. And I have to stay alive and kicking in order for that to happen.
All the friends I used to know seemed too distant already for me share how painful it is to go through sacrifice that costs freedom. Yet it is a freedom I freely surrender. I could just quit. But the love of Christ lays hold of me. And for today, this is my reminder that I should press on (see excerpt below). I will avoid the doctor. But if I must go there again, then so be it for the sake of lives that will be changed.
I still feel like I have become a live target for the enemy to assault. But who cares. It’s not like there’s another way to live.
The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20). The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his own brow…
“On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink in the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has the power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warriors continued existence. The man swings.
As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe.
But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot.
His Father! He must face his Father like this!
From Heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes his mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seem the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognise these eyes.
“Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, overspent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh, the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe this things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?”
Of course the Son is innocent. He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.
The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind for every century explodes in a single direction.
” Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!”
But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply.
The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The father rejected the Son whom he loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted his sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.