4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Monday, January 3, 2011
I was driving around rush hour today when Robin Sullivan is on WMUZ 103.5. I have enjoyed listening to her encouragement for many many years. I even remember driving hours back from Midland where around Flint I'd keep trying to tune her in. She now has a scripture of the week and here is this week's from Nehemiah 1:4.
I heard her recite the verse the very first thing when I got in the car so I didn't know that she was going to be focusing on fasting for the next three weeks. But what was funny is that I didn't notice the fasting and praying part at all when she read it. I noticed the grieving. The very first thing Nehemiah did when he got really bad news was to weep.
Often as Christians we tell people who are suffering- just pray about it. And we SHOULD. We should call on the one true God. But sometimes we have to start with grieving. Often, when we skip that part, it comes back to bite us later because we haven't taken the time to HEAL. Jesus can heal those wounds but we have to peel back the layers and let him in and that involves grief. When we come across a suffering person, sometimes the best thing we can do is just be with them and hold back on the advice. (I need to take some of my own advice here on a regular basis..including just today.)
As I was back in the car later I was reflecting on a book I am reading called The Lazarus Life. What did Jesus do outside Lazarus' tomb? Jesus wept. (John 11:35.) There are many sermons out there on why he wept but he was grieving something.
So we can and should pray and fast! Perhaps he mourned while he fasted and prayed. But I just took away a little different message when I heard this scripture quoted. I love that about God...He is so..PERSONAL!!!