It was nearly a week ago when I received the following text from my friend, D:
Hey J! God put you in my heart today. How can I be praying for you?
I have to admit that I was a little flattered. First, ever since I became a Christian, I have been fascinated with the fact that God seriously listens to anyone who speaks to Him through the gift of prayer. Second, I know my friend D has one of the sweetest and most authentic hearts that I’ve come across. The fact that Jesus had tapped such a friend on the shoulder to reach out to me meant a lot to me in a lot of ways (sorry for the redundancy).
Now, I also have to admit that it didn’t take a long time to think of what I knew I needed prayer for. Thankfully, prayer is not like wishes where one must muster up the best, most logical requests to appease God. I quickly responded asking that D would pray that I would have the strength to be carried by Jesus for a while… that I could find joy in just “being”. I hit the send button, went back to the dishes I was washing and realized, “Crap. I’m going to have to blog about this aren’t I?”
The strength to be carried. What does that mean? I have been trying to articulate this to the circle of family and friends who I share life with when they ask how I’m doing. Ever since I started meeting with my discipler in college years ago, I’ve conscientiously tried to not respond to the question with America’s default answer of “good”. This has been really difficult in the last few weeks.
Who died? No one that I know of. Did I lose something of value that I’m bummed about? Nope… surprisingly! Did I have difficulty downloading the newest Glee episodes from iTunes? Not even.
Instead, I find myself at a growth point. If you talk to Christians and ask about their experience, they’ll typically refer to one of two metaphors. They either refer to walking with Jesus or riding in a car with Him. I’m one of the types who tend to use the walking metaphor while I imagine Jesus and me trekking through a lush, flower-filled landscape (think of the meadow in Twilight), holding hands, and discussing the route we’ll take. I’m extremely uncomfortable with the riding-in-the-car-business because, to my knowledge, no one has invented a car that functions properly with two steering wheels. It’s this truth that has been causing some heart ache.
At this point, I don’t know what Christ has planned for me but I do know that now is not the time to make suggestions. Does this mean that Jesus is domineering and doesn’t care about what I want? Not at all. Instead, it reflects that God cares for me just as my parents did when they physically scooped me up when I approached trouble as a wobbly child. In faith, I won’t resist being carried even though it’s difficult and frankly, uncomfortable. Instead, I’ll continue to ask for the strength to be carried…
Isaiah 40:11/ He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.