Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weep, Mourn, Pray

 When tragedy strikes the heart, it causes us to fall to our knees.  We are not able to stand strong upon our own strength, we are humbled.  As we are humbled, our hearts are broken before God so we weep.  As the tears fall upon the ground, we become completely empty of ourselves.  When a vessel is completely empty; it’s the only time it can be filled.  We can’t touch people if our eyes are upon ourselves; we touch them when we see their deepest need within their lives.  Yet, do we see the needs around us?  Have our hearts become so calloused to the cries of the broken? Or are we overwhelmed with the destruction?    

     If we truly want to change the world, we have to be broken over the destruction of their lives.  Do we see the weapons or bondage upon people’s lives?  Or do we see just problems?  Problems we are unwilling to solve or change because we don’t have the oil or wine to provide.  Our wells have run dry, so we have nothing to offer to quench the thirst.  Instead, we shaking our heads or speaking words of condemnation, we refused to be involved or believe it’s “someone else’s” problem.  So, the broken stay bond, the battle keeps raging, and God’s heart keeps bleeding.  When will this merry-go-round stop?  It will only stop when it breaks us to the center of our soul. 

 “Let tears flow from my eyes, let them pour out night and day, never let them stop.  The people of my nation have suffered a terrible wound; they have been crushed.” Jeremiah 14:17
     Although Jeremiah prophesied the capture of the Israelites it wasn’t easy to see it fulfilled.  Besides part of the temple being destroyed, capture of his people, the walls surrounding Jerusalem are destroyed.  As he overhears the casual conversation of his kinsmen share the disbelieving news, it gripped the heart of him.
Nehemiah 1:4 “And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed to the God of Heaven.”
     Instead of shaking his head and continuing on with his royal duties of comfort, Nehemiah was floored.  Have you ever received terrible news that knocks the breath out of your chest?  Or that you had to sit down it was too overwhelming to fathom.    Well, this is the man Nehemiah.  Nehemiah was broken for his people, his nation and inheritance because he was a patriotic Jew.   When Nehemiah hears the words of the destruction, he is overwhelmed.  He has to sit down; it’s too much to take in.  In fact, he is so overwhelmed his heart is broken, he weeps.  A person isn’t weak for weeping it causes the heart to melt for change.  A weeping hurt touches the troubles of another soul, it shows compassion.  Jesus wept.  He was touched with their sorrow, so he felt their pain.  What’s truly missing is a heart of sorrow for people.   Sorrow is defined as a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by one or others.  Sorrow must be felt in order for change to occur. 
      II Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret but worldly sorrow brings death.” 
Although Nehemiah weeps over the destruction of his people, it causes a deeper stir within his heart.  He mourns over them.  It’s not a simple grief; it’s a sorrowful heart that continues for days.  It causes his heart to surrender to prayer and fasting which is the key to complete transformation.  If transformation comes, it’s birthed in prayer as Nehemiah who prayed for four months for his people.  In other words, the call of God wouldn’t release Nehemiah from turning away.  Nehemiah was so distraught and broken; he couldn’t perform his responsibilities with joy.  Besides being his death for brings sorrows before the king, he couldn’t be restored until his nation was restored. 
    When Solomon’s temple was created it took seven years to complete, some of the areas were twenty stories high.  Yet, Nehemiah who was never a construction worker rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem within 52 days.  When the walls of Jerusalem were completed, she was restored except for a king.  Every aspect of the city its economy, worship, and the buildings were restored to prepare for a greater opportunity-the coming of the Messiah. 
One man was moved by the tragedy of his people, so he acted.  He didn't allow the tragedy to overwhelm him; He went to the Rock who is higher.  We must be broken before God, so He can empower us to do something we may have never done before.  Faith is the key to turn a tragedy into a triumph.