“Why do I not take the Lord that seriously?” my friend Missy said to me, after showing me a picture of a group of men lying on the floor face down as a Haitian pastor prayed over them. In the group of men were Missy’s husband and two teenage sons.
She’s been in deep prayer all week for her family serving abroad, but admitted to me that it’s not her norm. I too confessed that deep prayer and worship are not my norm.
In fact, I’m a lot like the Israelites. If I’m not on the mountain top or deep in the valley, I quickly forget who God is and choose instead my own methods of self-reliance.
If I’m not on the mountain top or deep in the valley, I quickly forget who God is and choose instead my own methods of self-reliance.
In the highs, it’s easy to give thanks and praise to God. It’s easy to point to answered prayers, raise my Ebenezer, and declare God’s goodness.
In the lows, prayer hardly ceases from my lips, even if only in the form of inward groans. I plead to God, remember my Ebenezer, and resolve to trust in His goodness and timing.
And in between the two, the days run together and the miraculous fades away. When there’s nothing particularly wonderful or awful in my life, no mountain top or dark valley, my faith becomes lethargic. I go through the motions. Quiet time is a habit, but I keep glancing at the clock. My prayers begin to sound memorized even to me.
It’s not contentment I feel, but apathy.
In the place where the path is flat and the pace feels slow, my awareness of my need for God diminishes.
In the place where the path is flat and the pace feels slow, my awareness of my need for God diminishes. My faith turns from a heart response of worship and awe of God into a performance of words and gestures and a list of my own accomplishments.
There is limitless wonder found on top of the mountain and deeper intimacy discovered in the valley, but if I’m only paying attention in the big stuff, then I’m missing the small things intended to prepare and strengthen my faith for when the path changes again.
I want a heart that delights in God all along the way.