Caught in the Downpour
I get tired of fighting. Actually, right in this very season of my life I am exhausted from
a fight fights that I feel can never be won. It’s like little fires are popping up all around me and I don’t have enough energy or stamina to extinguish them or to get the heck out of there and run to safety. Everytime I turn around, there’s something new. If we’re talking fight or flight here, I’m ALL flight in this season. Just get me out of here. I can’t deal. I don’t have the perseverance to keep going in this.
My sweet prayer partner and I are reading through Fervent by Priscilla Shirer and we met (read: facetimed) to discuss for the first time this week. Let’s ignore the time difference between Texas and Georgia and how I called her an hour too early because time zones in the west are not on my radar (but ask me what time it is in Africa and I’ll tell you in a split second).
Also, real quick plug for prayer partners. If you don’t have one, get one. It is amazing what teaming up with someone to fight these fights and be accountable will do for your stamina and passion and purpose. Praying for someone else instead of getting stuck in your own ruts of worry and doubt is a game changer, too.
There were a million “YES” moments this morning that I’d love to write down, but you’d have to peek into our whole conversation to get the magnitude of some of these moments. I do want to share a little bit that blew me away.
We’re told all the time (there are a million songs) that the battle’s already won and we don’t have to be afraid or fear defeat, but I have always hated when people tell me that because I STILL FEEL LIKE I AM FIGHTING – all of the things all of the days – go back to the very beginning of this little post and all of the little fires. It is unreal how many battles I feel like I’m fighting with my bare hands. LOTS. But I finally have an illustration that makes the whole idea that this war is won make SENSE in my brain. It finally clicked.
I was recently reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (so good, please read), which chronicles one of the final strongholds of the German army in WWII. Get this – Normandy beaches had been stormed, Hitler had probably died already, and the Allies were wrapping up rescue missions in Europe, but this one city was still under the reign of the enemy armies. Tension and fear still reigned high in this place. People were still afraid of not being rescued, of dying at the hands of the enemy, and of being “found out” for their true alliances. The war had already been won, but these people were still fighting a very real enemy, waiting on help they weren’t sure would come.
Do you see where I’m going here? And how silly I am for not seeing this until now? Overall, our war is already won, but we’re still fighting little pockets of resistance while we wait on the Help, the Rescue, that’s on its way. Hello, we are fine. Everything is fine. Help is coming and we know that, unlike the people in this little town in Doerr’s novel. So we don’t have to live in fear. All the little things I cannot see and all the ones that I CAN see are fine. They are not all-consuming somehow because help will come and we’ve really won, so stick that in your juicebox and suck it, satan. You can project fear all you want, but I know what’s coming.
But in the meantime, while we wait for that help, it is so dang easy to deflate, to run out of gas, to forget what we’re fighting for and WHY. We lose our passion.
Priscilla says in the first section of this book that “Passion is the fuel in the engine of your purpose.” I mean, if this one sentence isn’t enough to just sit you down (or fire you up?), I don’t know what will. If passion fuels purpose, then we must spend time cultivating passion or we’ll lose our purpose. We’ll forget why we are where we are and what it is we’re doing all this doing for in the first place.
In the event that we don’t forget why we’re doing what we’re doing, but we just feel like we can’t get there, our purpose loses any inkling of attainability. We start walking with a limp or completely change direction because something else looks more interesting or more “possible” even if it’s not what really lights us up inside. Or we just quit. Without passion, purpose becomes just a dream.
Then we start feeling guilty for not desiring growth and spiritual discipline or for not feeling like we can go to church or really even go on at all, which is just silly. Passion isn’t something we can manufacture or create on our own, neither is our purpose. Even if we’re witches and wizards in a very Potter world, we still can’t create passion. We can imitate it with a potion here or there, but cannot create it. God puts it in us and then makes it grow, but the enemy is real good about placing blame and telling us we’re just not hustling enough.
But God is faithful, even when we are faithless, because if He weren’t, He would be a complete lie. It would go against the very essence of who He is. So, in our faithlessness when our passions are barely warm coals and we’re sitting on the sidelines feeling helpless, He says He’ll put a new spirit in us, give us new hearts, and renew our passion again. He will come to us like the rain in spring that waters the earth and causes little plants to shoot up toward the sun.
We can’t receive rain by prying it out of the sky, either. We watch it fall. We stand in it. We get caught in the downpour. We are renewed and refilled and refreshed and re-everything when He shows up like the rain.