Painful Power

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Ooh can I tell you what these last couple of weeks have been like??? It’s been hellacious to an unbelievable degree. I’ve really walked around with an undercurrent of pain and sadness lingering just beneath the surface of my consciousness. It has not felt good.

Yet I still had to function. I still had to do my administrative duties. I still had to show up and be ministerial. I still had to hug, kiss, love, and encourage. I still had to load the dishwasher and do the laundry. I still had to pay the bills and manage the finances. Most importantly I still had to preach.

Once I got through Palm Sunday (a preaching assignment for which I barely had 48 hours to prep), I thought that was all I had in me. I was preaching under such duress and heartache that I felt I wouldn’t have anything left for Good Friday.

I was wrong.

Good Friday was amazing and once again God used the painful condition of my heart as jet fuel. The Holy Spirit showed up like I had not experienced in a long time. Those who knew what I was experiencing understood that moment all the more.

But it turns out that I did eventually run out of power smh. That was on Sunday morning for sunrise service where we tag team preached 7 Last Words style but using one pericope of text focused on the resurrection. I would say that morning, my preaching was lackluster compared to the previous two times that week. I wholeheartedly acknowledge that I was physically exhausted, had little time to prepare, and had spent little time with God.

Yet it does make me wonder, do I have to be in emotional pain or in crisis in my life in order for God to show up in the preaching moment the way that God did? Is living in perpetual unhappiness the only route to powerful preaching? I certainly hope not because that’s not sustainable.