After 5.3 weeks of darkness (thanks, Bob!), the illumination of Out of the Miry Clay has returned! Sorry the hiatus was much longer than I planned, but once I set the discipline aside, it wasn’t easy to pick it back up.
However, I think I needed to set it aside for awhile.
Life, as of this last August, became very busy and demanding. With my mom’s battle with cancer, our church’s possible merger with a neighboring congregation, and a young family that needed me (and whom I very much needed), something far less important than these responsibilities needed to be set aside to allow me to keep up with the increased demands. I enjoy blogging (and hope I can minister a bit in the process of sharing my musings) but it is far down the list of items that I need to focus upon. So, the writing stopped and the break ensued.
What I discovered during my time off was that the responsibilities and the pressures of life were taking more out of me than I thought.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized the degree to which I had been battling discouragement and spiritual exhaustion. I had this “realization” as I was driving home in my car and found myself singing and full of joy. All of a sudden I thought, “where has this guy been?” Honestly, I’m usually that way: easy going, laughing, singing around the house (and office and car), and enjoying life. However, that isn’t the way I’ve been for the last couple of months. Some of you who know me probably realized it. I know my wonderful wife did. Unfortunately, I might have been the last person to figure it out.
I just knew I was tired. I knew I was pushing through, struggling with tasks and responsibilities, struggling to remain faithful as the burdens felt, well, more burdensome. But now that the darkness has lifted, and life seems a bit more light, I can see what kept me going.
During the last few months, there has been an increased hunger for study and for the Word. I’ve read several books that have encouraged my spirit and the Word has REALLY buoyed me. In addition to this, my godly wife (who has been so patient with me and so faithful to her role) has provided a rock not only for me, but for our family. On top of that, I know many brothers and sisters have been faithfully praying for me. God kept me going by His grace, and His grace took all of these forms!
What a glorious God we have; He keeps us and uses these wonderful means to do it!
My prayer today, as we at Out of the Miry Clay return to active involvement in the blogosphere, is that we too will become one of these “means.” Our channel might not always be the smoothest, most well thought out, or most profound, but may God use us as a channel of His amazing grace to those who stand in need of it… whether they realize it at the time or not.
It’s good to be back.