DECOMPRESSION STATE OF MIND
10 So do not fear,for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
So I have had the honor and privilege to preach revival over the last few days at a small family church in Ellabell, Georgia. For many of you, you have probably never heard of or realized that you may have driven through this small community that hides between Savannah and Pembroke. But it was an opportunity to go back and relive some of the memories that I had as a child. See, when I was growing up, every year we would have two revivals at the church my family attended. We would have a fall revival to inspire the members of the church and a spring revival that was used to reach out into the community. We spend hours every night of the week coming together as a community of believers and signing the hymns, connecting as a community and truly finding solace at the feet of Jesus. I remember the pack the pew nights and the pre-revival dinner in the fellowship hall. I remember the different opportunities that we had to gather and watched as people were coining to the Lord on a nightly basis. Funny as it may sound to today's generation, people would literally get there an hour early so that they could get their place and make sure that they were ready for what was going to unfold that eventing. I even remember a couple of times that the night the revival was supposed to end, the pastor would as the church if they wanted to continue and we extended revival into extra days. Where has this fervor and passion gone?
Well, the reason I ask the question is because this week I really had an opportunity to spend some time really refocusing my mind. I had the chance to try and decompress from all of the chaos from the last 19 months and realize that it is all a state of mind and heart. We have been so worried about trying to get back to where we need to be in order that we can feel
we are doing our job properly, and maybe God is saying I need you to slow down and decompress and start focusing on making the real thing the real thing again. Relationships with people matter and showing up and pouring into their lives matter. The time that we spend trying to make everything look perfect is not something God is asking us to do. We are imperfect people and God is just asking us to break it all down to the simplest of ideas that we have talked about so many times. Love God... Love People. I know I have said that many times, but it hit me again as I am decompressing and watching this small family community come to the altar and pray over their young pastor. I am watching as tears are filling their eyes as they realize the need to once again call the church back into action. The realization for me came when people were willing to come straight from work without eating supper because they were so hungry to be in community worshiping God that they would forsake everything else just to be there. It was humbling... it was powerful... and it allowed me to rekindle within my soul the reason God has called me to ministry in the first place.
Today, I chose two scriptures for us to really contemplate as we move throughout our day. One from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. Each are calling us to come back to the Lord and find the space we need to decompress from this world. But the main thing is that we have to make the concerted effort to come to the Lord. God is ready and waiting on us to come so that He can give us strength and courage. In order that we can be lifted up in our times of quarrels and frustration. When we are burdened and struggling as if our souls are parched, God will give us the nourishment that we need. We are given these valuable scriptures as a means to help decompress our minds and to allow us to step out and allow God to reset our hearts. Are you not tired of waking up each day feeling as if the day is already over? Are you tired of stepping into the day with defeat already on your shoulders? Maybe it is time to take the deep breath and see what God can do to help revive your soul. For me, I have a few things that I do. First, I talk to people who know more than I do about letting it all go. If I carried these burdens by myself I would literally go insane. Next, I spend time in prayer in my safe space. I literally turn off all fo the lights, lock the door and play music and meditate on God's Word. Some times it could be an hour and other times it could be just a few minutes. And yes, I know that there are days that I don't decompress at all and it effects every area of my life. Finally, I get in my car and drive around and just openly talk to God. It may lead me to the ocean... it may lead me to a dead end... it may lead me to a prayer chapel in the middle of no where. All I know is that when it gets to be too much, I do my best to shut out the world and surround myself with God. As both Isaiah and Jesus are speaking to us today, both reiterate the need to come to God to decompress and draw strength in times of need.
So today, maybe we need to set the time we need to decompress and take in a little more of God's strength. Find the lost hours that we may all have searching Facebook or Tik-Tok or spent playing games, and truly devote it to your own physical healing. All of us are pulled to the limits from time to time and satan tends to use all sorts of situations to blow it out of
control. So why not come back to the source of all life to find a renewed spirit. Why not pause and let God into the scenario and see where God will be able to take you. Revival is not date on the calendar, but a decompression from this world into a mindset focused on saving the lost. It is an opportunity to step out of the false realities found in this world and to be reminded of the purpose that God created us in the first place... to worship Him. Stop allowing the small things to turn into the big things and realize the importance of refocusing and spending that time with the CREATOR of all things restoring you to fullness in Christ. Realize that God is right there waiting for us to turn away from the world and fall into His protective hands. If we believe that God is pursuing us, why in the world are we not doing everything that we can to pursue Him as well. It begins we decompressing and giving it all over to God. It begins by admitting we may need help to get there, but we will not stop fighting to break free from the chains that we have confined ourselves with for such a long time. Come Lord Jesus Come. Break us free from the things that continue to snare us and revive our soul. AMEN