Sleep on This: Inured (May 27)
Good evening, friend!
I suffered a head injury in an ice-skating accident in 2003. One enduring consequence is tinnitus; a constant ringing in my ears. Actually, it’s more like white noise than ringing. The fall broke “hair cells” in my ear, resulting in this constant auditory reminder that I should have worn a helmet that day in Sun Valley—or been a better skater.
I will always have this noise in my head. But after all these years, I have grown inured to it; accustomed to this unpleasant reality so that I don’t notice it as often. BUT, when it’s quiet at night, I notice. It’s NEVER quiet for me and, barring a miracle, it never will be. C’est la vie.
I realized the other day that I am growing inured to this whole COVID thing. It’s still there, still unpleasant… but I don’t notice it as much. I knew this when I realized how much less I was praying about our situation than I was two months ago.
I became convicted of my prayerlessness. Because things are not good, not normal. Millions of lives remain disrupted. Some of that disruption is disease-related; some of it is government-related. And we are all grappling with how to apportion blame.
Regardless, I realize that I must not resign myself to this; I must discipline myself to remain unsettled! Until churches are open, until businesses are open, until homes are open, until arms are open, I must not settle. And part of that discipline is prayer. Every day. With specificity. That God will lift the plague and restore to us the human-to-human relationships for which we were created. It is STILL not good that man—or woman—should be alone.
I shared a text from Jeremiah 29:7 last night: “…seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” This was the prophet’s admonition to those who had been carried off into captivity by the Babylonians. Don’t sabotage the city of your captors; seek its welfare! And notice the second part: “…pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
If this were true for those forcibly moved to a foreign land, how much more ought we pray for our own city? Welfare, welfare, welfare…it appears three times in that verse. We WANT to ask God to cause our city to fare well, don’t we? For in that, WE fare well.
I invite you to join me in praying for our city this Sunday at 1:00, specifically for the businesses that have been hammered by the shutdown. Head to the business area closest your home: Harbor North, Uptown, Downtown or Port Orchard. (Details will follow in my Saturday blog in the weekly e-newsletter.) A pastor will greet you at a parking lot, offer a quick prayer, and then send you on your way on a prayer walk. Specifically, I’d ask you to pray for the businesses you pass: for their owners, their landlords, their employees. If you see an email or phone number, write it down and contact them later to tell them what you have done and ask for specific prayer needs.
Let’s not become inured to this situation; let’s continue to be unsettled until the shalom of Christ settles once again upon our land.
Lord, as I lay me down to sleep, forgive me if I am becoming inured to our present situation. Even as you teach me to be content in every circumstance, would you also stir me to pray for the welfare that can only come when you bring your healing touch. Amen.