Dear Heavenly Father,
I think I only got one hour of sleep last night. I couldn’t shut my mind off because my heart was grieving. I apologize to you, that in the face of an incredible and encouraging day of ministry, the only thing on my mind were the things that grieved me, but it is what it is Father. I tossed and turned thinking about yet another family who lost a dear and precious loved one to cancer yesterday. He died way too soon and way too young. I praise you that he is now home in your presence but I just feel the weight of sadness for his family’s loss.
But you know what Father? The thing that made me toss and turn the most, was the willful disobedience of your people. In the space of just a few days, I’ve had significant conversations with beautiful people who love you and yet are acting out such broken acts of disobedience against you. This grief, possibly more than any other grief, is the one that is most painful to me as a pastor and makes me lose the most sleep. Why would your dear ones choose to disregard you? Why would they profess Jesus and yet in reality choose to live their lives like any ordinary unbeliever? Why would they settle for a pittance when trusting Christ would bring them deep contentment? I plead with you to steer these dear ones back to yourself and back to a love for you since Jesus did say “If you love me you will keep my commands.” Please!
If I’m losing sleep over this it makes me wonder how you Spirit feels when He’s grieved by my own disobedience. Father, restore those turning their backs on you, and keep me from hardening my heart and turning my back on you. Oh, and thanks for coffee – because your Spirit and caffeine are the only things that will get me through today! – Amen