“I think you seem quite despondent,” honest words floated over the ocean this week. “Your last blog indicates you are not doing well.”
Who… me? So I ran to check in with Mr. Webster. There was my picture beside the word… despondent… loss of hope. Don’t you love it when a friend tells you the truth, instead of telling someone else.Most of you will understand the current low days. Help me know how you are getting through the days. Just seems so difficult to keep all the music stations playing positive praise songs… all day, all night. My station seems to find the sad songs… Where have all the flowers gone…
Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle multi-racial mega church addressed this very phenomenon in his sermon this Sunday. I think he must have known I would be listening. This man, 81 years old and pastor of this church for over 50 years, has had his share of difficulties and discouragement as the church has grown from 30 people to well over 16,000 members. He told of a time when there was a cross roads and the church could go no further without six million dollars. Would you believe God provided almost immediately. And we doubt. We cry.
When I was younger, when life seemed somehow more fixable, I danced in the storms. This Pollyanna sailed through Lyme Disease, Q Fever, Tom’s bout with cancer. After all, we could DO something about those things. Now, I cannot do anything to fix the brokenness…
He had some funny remarks about the woes of Republicans and Democrats in the political issues of today… but it was when Cymbala said, “I understand. I’ve been where you are, where many of you are… now. ” It was then I knew I could listen. He went on to tell of a time in his life a few years ago he wasn’t sure he could go on. “Every time the phone rang in my office, I would cry. I mean, I would just cry at the ring of the phone. My father-in- law literally carried me to the pulpit area one Sunday. I could not do it on my own.”
I trust authors and preachers who are so honest they let us cry with them. Or friends. Pastor Cymbala mentioned the ways… all the many ways… we are discouraged these days. I mean how many of us have known of a classroom of children murdered? Or a grandfather with his four grandsons shot to death in his cabin. I so related to each one, but Cymbala kept coming back to the truth—did God bring you through the last battle, the last heartache?
I admit. Sometimes it continues to be difficult even knowing God is here, He can fix life. I can’t…
I cried with the Brooklyn choir Sunday morning as they sang… and sang. And sang again. “With every breath I take, I will praise you Lord. With every breath I take, I will praise you, Lord.” You would laugh, well, maybe not, if you could hear me sing these words with tears.
Join me as we sing, mingling our tears with one another.
And a verse for me this morning, “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.” Psalm 104: 33,34