I was asked “what God is saying? I could not answer it!
It was during my first week of being on holiday. I preached my last sermon on the first Sunday of July, I don’t know how I managed to do it, I was suffering from hayfever, my nose was blocked, my eyes were watering and my left eye twitching constantly. I could not see my sermon notes, so I ignored them.
I remember my Dad and my sisters seating with my kids and my wife. It was dad third visit to Northern Ireland and my sisters first time. I finished the sermon, last song and benediction, then coffee, lots of it, in the church hall.
I remember getting back home and feeling tired, happy but tired. I was officially off work and looking forward to spending time with my family.
But then it began, I was unable to read, I could not hold a book, nor even my Bible. I could not concentrate or keep information. I realised that I was mental, emotionally, spiritually and physically tired, not burned out, but tired. The truth is that I love reading.
It was during that week that someone asked me: What is God saying? Then I felt the need to perform, to say something religious that sounded prophetically mystical. I felt guilty for not reading the Word and the pressure of being a “Reverend”. I felt the weight of many biblical verses telling me to be ready to give an answer!! Be a good soldier!! I felt religious.
Thankfully, I answered “I don’t know! It was like a massive weight was lifted from my spiritual shoulders!
It felt great that I did not know what God is saying, all I wanted was for my inner self to be rested, to put my feet up and drink a glass of red wine! To walk, to laugh, to cry, to hold and be held, to watch movies, to eat, to run, to be. My sisters provided me with so much entertainment, they made me laugh out loud. They (my dad included) connected me with my roots, they reminded me of my lineage, my inheritance.
Was God angry with me because I did not read his Word? Not a chance! I felt him more alive in me than ever before, yet I could not express it. Inside me, the turmoil of violent voices began to silence, it was a slow process. I realise that tiredness has the capacity to invite different voices, some are nasty ones, they can settle in your inner self to create chaos.
Rest is a God-given gift to us!
I am reading again, and I love it!
If you ask me: “What God is saying? I will tell you, Come and meet me! I will be in OpenSkies this weekend, the biggest worship festival in Ireland!
I will tell you to rest!
“And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” (1 Kings 19:5–8 ESV)