The last few weeks of preparation for Easter and the official launch of Graceway has been a pretty stressful time. Those who know me well know that I am generally pretty laid back, but I found myself on edge… even short tempered… and that is simply not like me. I can explain it no other way than that the evil one attacks those who are seeking to follow God and to lead others to do the same.
Ephesians 6:12 says For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
This is not me trying to cop out and claim no responsibility in the ways that I fell short in past few weeks. This is not a, "The devil made me do it" kind of excuse. It is simply a recognition that there are forces at work in this world that go far beyond my understanding and there were certainly times in these past few weeks the attacks have been intense. For me, a huge weight was lifted when at the end of one of our preview services I shared with those who gathered my struggles and invited them to pray specifically for me and my family. I had no plan to do so… it was just one of those moments of vulnerability, led by the Spirit. After the service that day two of our most committed people pulled me aside and prayed for me. During the week I got several cards and emails and then last week a new friend shared encouragement through Matthew 11:28-29.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
This is a very familiar passage for me, but one that I was reminded of at the perfect time.
Now that we are on the other side of the big event of last Sunday I feel like I can breathe again. I am fully aware that the struggles and the attacks are not gone for good, but I do believe that my foundation has been strengthened by experiencing the goodness and faithfulness of God and the strength of God through connections in community in the midst of my struggle.
I invite your continued prayers for Graceway Church, for my family, and for me. How can we be praying for you?