The last two weeks, I have had an unusual spiritual battle. I've been wrestling with a weird spiritual weariness I've not had before.
Now, I'm normally bouncy when it comes to God. I'm completely ruined for him, and I hope with every fiber of my being that I stay HIS for the rest of my life.
BUT the last two or three weeks I've struggled with a weird lack-lustre. God has felt like a distant 'fact', rather than a vibrant presence. I've struggled to read the Bible, which is unusual. And, this past Sunday I felt like I couldn't be bothered going to church. That's no good, is it, when I'm writing a series on that very topic!? Uggh, no fun. And a bit freaky. It's especially difficult to have something like that happen when you know you have a community to keep writing for.
Anyway, my response was this: I have to just keep going. I know that Christians sometimes experience dry patches. I also know that God does not promise that we will always feel his presence, even though he is surely there. So I determined to do that: Keep going. I made a deliberate point to keep reading the word, keep showing up for time with God in the morning, and get prayer for the issue from a couple of people.
Have you been there too? I know a few of us have. It's been a strangely difficult couple of weeks, and that's the backstory to what happened yesterday.
Now for yesterday:
I was standing in the kitchen. My house was a little untidy, I was in my most unflattering clothes, and my hair hadn't been brushed yet even though it was lunchtime. We have a cyclone going on here in New Zealand, which you might have seen on the news, so I did have an excuse: I was settled in for a full home day while the wind and rain roared outside.
I texted a friend, "I am having a weird time ... feeling spiritual lacklustre." The friend texted back, "I'm praying for you." And no sooner had that message arrived than there was a knock at the door. Two people stood there who I'd never seen in my life: A boy and a girl in their early twenties.
Two knights in shining armor.
"We're here the prayer meeting!" they said.
"Prayer meeting?" I paused for a minute. "Ohhh! Yes, I WAS going to have a prayer meeting today, but cancelled it because of the cyclone."
I then hugged them both as if it was the most natural thing to wrap my arms around two strangers and said "COME IN!"
(Side note: I have no idea how these two found that there was to be a prayer meeting at my house.)
Having hugged them I said, "Sit down. Let me just go and comb my hair .. and then I will be back." My hair definitely needed a taming before I sat down in front of these two again.
Two minutes later, with duly neatened hair, I plonked myself down in front of them, and we started to talk ...
We proceeded to talk .... about GOD. We talked about fiery things. The boy was 23, a traveler from California. The girl was 20, an Aucklander who lives an hour away from me. We connected deeply. We talked about what we were each wrestling with and hearing from God. In fact, I began to share quite a lot of my heart with them.
At this point I started to feel completely refreshed, like 'This is just what I need right now,' and 'How is it I can talk to these two like I've known them forever?'
The effect these two were having on me they might as well have been angels.
It got better though....
The boy was from California. "California?" I said, "I've been there. Actually, I work on a ministry for Christians married to non-Christians, and that ministry was set up by a lady who lives in California."
And this is where it got particularly interesting, but I've gone on too long now, so will continue this story on Friday.... Be sure to tune in because this next part is a goody. Till next time!