Monday, February 18, 2008

Dryness or Dark Night of the Soul

A Touch of the Master's Hand
I left you a few days ago with Pastor Don as dry as Death Valley. Despite preaching in a large church and teaching in seminary he had not experienced God's presence in years. Pastor Don had the right answers about prayer, God and the Holy Spirit but no experience since he was a young man.

So, he called us one night at the suggestion of an old friend who had prayed with us back in the Jesus Movement. He knew that I hadn't lost my faith in hearing God speak. When we met and I asked Don about how long it had been since he had sought God's personal direction, he was embarrassed to admit that he had lost his fire and fervor at seminary.

During the next discussion, Don was in a very different mood. He related an incident that had shaken him up. He attendeda network of pastors from the community and during a time of reflection he had asked God for a specific word of direction. He layed out a "fleece" to the Lord to see if God would "Prove Himself interested in speaking a still small word in Don's heart."

After a few minutes of contemplation a thought entered his mind about the woman leading the meeting. It went something like this: "I must ask God to tell Mrs. Ames to get a word for me." So, he prayed, "Lord, tell Mrs. Ames what you want me to do. Amen."

At the end of the meeting, he rushed out of the room and hurriedly went to lunch where he met one of the Elders to discuss the church budget. He thought about sharing his fleece with Elder Maxwell but was too embarrassed to tell him. Since Mrs. Ames had failed to speak to him in the morning it must mean the Lord was not interested in showing up.

The lack of an answer was disappointing and somewhat of a relief. He came back to the office and received a message that Mrs. Ames had called and asked him to call her immediately. Don's heart raced as he dialed her number and listened for her to answer the phone.
"Hello, this is Muriel Ames. How may I help you," he heard from the other end.

Don said, "Mrs. Ames, this is Pastor Don and I am answering your call from earlier today.

"Oh, thank you for calling Pastor. I need to speak with you about a very strange event that occurred to me at lunch. May I tell you about it now?"

"Yes, mam," Don said. "Go right ahead."

"Well, as I was saying grace at lunch I had an odd thougth about you. I am not accustomed to speaking like this to a Pastor but I feel compelled to tell you to read a passage the Lord gave me. I have no idea what it is about but I must tell you. Is that all right?"

"Yes, Mrs. Ames. That is more than all right. Go right ahead. I am really interested in what you have to say."


My spell checker is broken.
Our workshop on speaking and hearing God is March 15. Write if interested.

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