I again get the opportunity to speak this coming Sunday night and I have had something on my heart that I feel like now, with the current direction our church is heading, I am released in a sense to share. Let’s just get it out there so that I can move on freely and be transparent…I cry! That’s right, I said it, I Clark Moran am prone to the occasional cry session. It’s happened several times during communion and on Monday nights with our ENCOUNTER students but I’ve managed to somewhat keep my composure. Pride at times kicks in and I know I’m not alone in saying that at times I will begin to scratch or itch my eyes as if to play of like something was affecting them which in turn caused the tears (you know you’ve been there) as my bodies natural reaction to help itself.
Recently in reading Nehemiah I was captivated at the first several verses that read as follows:
NEHEMIAH 1:2-4 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
This has got me to thinking, what is it that causes me to weep? What is that “thing” that when you think of it, hear it, see it, or sense it your emotions overwhelm you to the point you begin to bite the inside of your cheeks and your bottom lip trying as you might to keep from showing just how bound you are emotionally to the piece in question. Perhaps your response is different and try as you might you can’t contain the overwhelming pressure and almost as sudden and serious as a heart attack you find yourself instantly just beginning to weep for the “cause” or that “thing”. Regardless to the package and how it is you respond emotionally (that’s irrelevant) the real question is what are you doing about it, or how are you responding physically?
Nehemiah gave up his King’s Court Cup Bearing job to obediently follow his weep. Which leads me to my next thought, where I think that we must be WEEP before we ever REAP. I’m not saying I’m correct but I associate my weeping with my passion. The moment that anyone approaches me to pray and makes reference to the High Schools in our area, the students, or our City in general I wrestle between PRIDE and SUBMISSION and begin to weep. But me weeping for my city is not enough. Praying daily for the High Schools in Bowmanville and the students that populate them is beautiful and must continue but will that suffice? Is it enough just to pray for the broken of this world or are we not called as believers and as agents of change to GO and to make ourselves available. Actions do truly speak louder then words, and I also believe they too sound louder and more a difference then weeps and cries. Maybe our weeping is better viewed as a sign for us to whom, where, what He has called us to.
In John 11:35 we read that “Jesus wept” this being His emotional response to finding out that Lazarus had died. The verses prior say that He (being Jesus) was greatly troubled and moved in His Spirit. His response is action as He has them take Him to Lazarus. This is where I will close by saying that Jesus took action. We spend so much of our time at altars weeping and crying out for our friends, families, and cities. We get up from our knees wipe our eyes and speak to our friends or the pastor and and tell them about how “powerful” or “incredible” the time we just had with God was; but, apparently it was powerful or incredible enough to thrust us into response. We speak to a few others who God also, apparently, spoke to or revealed something to and head to the nearest Tim Horton’s or Starbucks to talk and debrief. There we leave the words and encouragement that was just given to us by God on the table only to pick it up again the following week! That’s not God’s intention what so ever…Our weeping needs to thrust us into reaping! Where we move from the the bench to the ice (or surface of your choice), from the INSDIE to the OUTSIDE. He’s called us to be fishers of men, but all we do is continue to take care of the tank.
I say all that to say this…Weeping will not necessarily reach anyone, but perhaps God’s and His Spirit prompts you to weep to show you who it is you are to reach. It’s time for the church to move from weeping to reaping, with the purpose of seeing people lives changed and others restored. How many times will you listen to the missionary come and speak about the need in Africa and allow tears to stream down your face before you actually go yourself on your churches next trip.
How much more carpet time, kleenex, coffee and conversation will it take for you to embrace what you’ve been weeping for?