Have you ever woken up and just known that something other than you want is going to happen today? Just the feeling that “man, today is gonna be crazy.” And then as the day unravels, you see everything turn out differently and you can’t help but wonder if you did this to yourself by the mentality you had when you woke up.
Maybe you react that way. Maybe you don’t. I know I do.
And that morning that I was supposed to fly out to San Diego, I should’ve know from the beginning that this summer would be full of moments like what I described. The goal was to arrive in San Diego for lunch. It seemed reasonable. However, when I landed at 11 that night, it was very obvious that reasonable was not the goal God had for me. And that’s been the lesson so far.
Reasonability is so overrated.
I say that sort of in a joking manner. Obviously reasonability is important. It keeps us grounded. At the same time, grounded in what? That’s a fair question. As Christians, we are be grounded in God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
It honestly never said anything about be reasonable according to man. Be just? Sure. Treat people well? Absolutely. Be kind? Yes. Show grace and mercy? Of course. Do what I feel is reasonable? No, it doesn’t say that. Actually, the bible doesn’t say much about how I feel. But I do feel that I learned this lesson over the last week. The first day in San Diego wasn’t a gentle intro to the city. The first day was a plunge into who we need to meet and why. It was a plunge into why I am here. And I’m not here to test out the waters inch by inch. I’m here to trust God fully that His glory may be achieved through me. And that’s no easy thing. But our City Coach, James Gordon of New Era Outreach, made it a bit easier. He set up initial meetings and pointed us in the right direction. Thank God for that.
Speaking of the plunge, that first day rocked my world. We met with some key people. One of them truly spoke to me. Her name is Cheryl Bobbit. And she prays.
Some of you who are reading this are wondering why that deserved a paragraph break. Why that needed a pause. Simply put, because Cheryl Bobbit prays. This is no causal prayer, throw something up to God, saying words that I don’t mean prayer. This is prayer. Sincerely, heartfelt, open, prayer. Prayer that leaves you weak, yet strengthened at the same time. Prayer that goes beyond the casual conversation and into the heart of the matter. And what really matters? The heart. And Cheryl knows that. She really does. So, every single day, Cheryl prays. And not just for herself, but for others. She prays for companies, for people, for the city of San Diego. She prays for people she has never met, and probably will never meet. She prays for people, for their hearts. And that’s simply amazing.
So, Cheryl taught us how to pray for others. And that rocked my world. You see, I totally ignored the lesson on how to pray. I’ve been figuring it out on my own. I have used the Lord’s Prayer as a guide, but this was something else. This was the most my heart had opened up in a while during prayer. And to sum up that prayer into one little phrase, I pleaded,
“God, let my heart break for this city.”
Why put that in italics? Because that’s the focus for this summer. For the passion. To see God’s love for every person and to have a great desire for them to see it too. And no, this was not my prayer before I got in San Diego. Is that a reasonable prayer to have? Probably not. It’s hard to work when you have a broken heart. But this isn’t about reasonability is it?
Also, I believe God wants us to have a broken heart. Let’s face it, our hearts are pretty messed up. There are chunks missing, when we’ve given love and never received it back. There are gashes, where we something has taken love from us. There are parts that are black, poisoned by hatred and bitterness. There are pieces that don’t really fit, where love has been given, but not in a healthy way, and anyone can tell that it really doesn’t belong there. See, thats the heart. In all of its “beauty.” So in asking God to let me heart break, I was asking him to cut of the poisoned parts and remove the chunks that don’t fit. Which sucks and leaves us feeling pretty empty. But God doesn’t stop there. He then fills all the gashes and cuts and holes with his unconditional love. He covers us in His love. Then my heart looks like a pre-K art project when they introduced everyone to glue. It just oozes everywhere and gets on everything. That’s how God’s love should pour from our hearts.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.”
We can’t truly live without a complete heart. As a Christian, I live through God, not through me. Why? Because my heart is way too weak to handle the stress of life. But, with God’s love making me whole, I can do anything.
That’s why that prayer, “God let my heart break for this city,” is as important as it is. It’s asking for God to do a deep clean on my heart so that I can love the people of this city has he has loved me. That will only happen if I accept his love, and let it flow through me.
Was this something big to ask for in the first week? No. Was this something crazy to ask before even knowing what God wants me to do specifically? No. Was this reasonable? No. That’s why this is a plunge. This is a leap of faith, as every day should be. Life isn’t a wading pool. It’s an ocean. You can walk into the waves nice and easy, but at some point, you have to decide if you stop with the continental shelf, or if you will go into the depths. And that takes a jump. But over 2000 years, God still has the same response.
Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!”