For the last few weeks, every time I go to pray, tears flood my eyes. Preceding these moments, I can be joking and in a “silly” mood, serious in a “business” mood, or even just normal. I begin prayers always by marveling at who our Creator is. When I or anyone praying says the first word of the prayer, I well up. The fact is that God would love me/us despite who we are and the fact that we are “more sinful than we ever dared believe” (Tim Keller). That thought typically is what comes at some point of the prear. And to think that “we’re more loved than we ever dared hope” (Keller again), how can I not tear up with a humbled joy?Maybe it’s just a season I’m in, my time of the month or the coffee I drank, but it’s a unique place I find myself in. Maybe you’ve been there yourself. You’re not overwhelmingly depressed (though I won’t deny a bit here and there), but you can tear at the drop of a hat. Is it gratefulness? Humbled? Healthy? Pathetic? These “prears,” as I’ll term this combo of prayers and tears, are unique in the fact that they are so regular for me. And they’ve now begun to creep into my thoughts where I’ll just tear up thinking. Not completely sad, but certainly humbled. At times joyful, but moreso just amazed and still.
Life’s been great. Not easy, but great. Maybe a bit harder the last three weeks than I’ve noticed in a long while, but I’m loving my job, my family, my wife and more. I’m bold in my faith, listening to messages more than 5 times per week, not afraid of much of anything, strong, serving, blessed and humbled constantly. Yet these prears, what are they? What are they result of? Are they good? Are they bad?
Having gone back to work full-time in a position I really hope to be at for a while (not the first time I’ve said that; an interesting trend), I’ve noticed the same bipolar tendencies as I did in the past. I hate it. Absolutely humiliating and embarrassing. Yet in it all, I prear and find myself grateful that I am where I am, where we are where we are. What was truly an impossible situation and the epitome of being stuck has turned into grace, peace and freedom. It’s still very challenging, becoming healthier (at least I hope/think). But these prears . . .
Psalm 30 has repeatedly blessed my socks off to explain my emotions and perspective. Countless seasons of life that have been difficult I’ve concluded using this Psalm as my prear. Today I’d like to imagine it’s a wonderful prear:
1 I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountaint stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
NIV, italics and bold mine.
It’s probably a bit more good/bad situationally in his Psalmists prear; mine has been more innocuous to me (my wife disagrees pointing out stressful thoughts/events). I think I conclude that God longs for honest, bold, authentic prears. It’s not about feeling. Though it is. It’s not about situations. Yet it is. It’s not about theology. Despite great significance it holds.
It’s about knowing Jesus. That He is constant. And He is at work in the feelings, situations, and is the theos that we attempt so hard to know. He draws us to Himself yet we all wrestle with our free will and tendency to please self first. Ultimately I hope my prears are giving glory to the One who deserves all I have to offer.
The point of everything is to give God glory; I hope my prears are doing that more than anything else.