Sunday, August 28, 2011

Romans 8:26 and Simply Free

I have been sick for a week. Not the call in the family and get your affairs in order kind of sick but certainly get a shot in the rear, crawl in bed, and feel like I have to get better to do the first part kind of sick. The doctor said it was strep. All I know is that from Tuesday afternoon until Sunday I did not leave the bedroom and barely left the bed. (I’ll spare you the gory details.)

I thought maybe I would use that time to write. Or maybe this would be a good week to catch up on bookkeeping. I even thought once or twice about cleaning out my closet or organizing my sock drawer. But every time I would raise my head from the pillow the room would spin, I’d break out in a sweat, and go back to sleep for another few hours. All I could do for the week was wait and rest and wait some more. I took my prescription, drank my
electrolytes, and ate my soup. Beyond that the healing was really out of my
hands. Wait.

This weekend is Simply Free. We have been planning and praying for this weekend for nearly a year. We have talked to speakers, lined up music, arranged breakout sessions, and ordered snacks. Now there is nothing to do but wait and rest and wait some more. In fact, that’s really what the weekend is about, just waiting on God to heal that sick place within us that we have been working on for so long.

And I’m not talking about you. I mean me. My prayer for me is that once the first song is sung and the first prayer is prayed that I will be able to quit trying and start waiting and resting and trusting. That’s not easy for me. Right now I’m worried that not enough people will come, that the program will be too long, that the speakers will be disappointed. Right now I am fretting about the videos and concerned about transportation and figuring out the cost. I might as well be arranging my sock drawer.

In Romans 8:26, Paul says that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us.” That sounds a lot like waiting and resting and waiting some more to me. And it sounds like Simply Free. No high, profound messages. No slick and polished performances. Simply ordinary people telling their stories of being set free. And me and you, not even knowing what we need but just eager to get well.

We are all a little sick. Maybe not the call in the family kind of sick but just not where we really want to be with God. This weekend I invite you to come and wait and rest and wait some more. And let God do whatever it is He chooses to do to heal us in His way and in His time. If you come, maybe I’ll share some soup with you.

(If you'd like to know more about Simply Free go to )

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fridays @ 8 Romans 8:25

This is from a guy in our Tuesday morning group that is just coming alive in Christ. It is a blast to watch. He's out of town this week so he wrote this response. I love the simple direct wisdom:

In the prior passage Paul reminds us that we are waiting for something we are not able to see or touch, but as I said

last week, whatever it is, it is good. So we need to wait. But we have an added blessing, because we can wait in hope! Remember when as little children, we waited for Christmas morning? We waited "in hope" of a wonderful

Christmas, with love and family, and gifts. But we waited for something very special. Now think of a child who has no Christmas. They wait for the 25th day of December far differently. Not with the anticipation of the Christian

child. In the same way, we have a blessing in the hope that Christ will come and our groaning will be over. That is, I think, what Paul is trying to say here. We have a leg up on others, and something to share with all our brothers, those Christian and those not.

My bible says we are to wait with "endurance" another says "patience." I like Patience far better. There is a feeling of

contentment in the hope we have that allows me (us?) to feel the confidence in our belief that others do not have. I know a non-believer who shakes his head mornings as I am reading the bible. I wonder why. I may never

know, but it is one of two things. Either he thinks I am wasting my time, with simple foolishness, or he has a bit of envy that I have something he does not. I hope it is the latter, since it will be easier to get him over the hump, if it is. Either way, I believe I have a good deal more to look forward to than does he. Although he has a very nice home and a very nice life, he does not have the opportunity to wait in hope, that I have.