The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all (Psalm 34: 17-19).
Over the past couple of months, I had been struggling in my walk with the Lord. I had been overwhelmed with my job. I was working long, stressful hours and I was traveling a lot. At the same time, I was still attempting to juggle all of the same responsibilities outside of work, particularly in ministry. Somewhere along the way, I found myself slowly wandering outside of God’s will. It wasn’t any one major thing, but a series of small decisions over time. On a daily basis, I was choosing to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, because the things He was asking me to do were not really in line with what I wanted to do. Without even knowing it, I found myself in a place where I was much more focused on the cares of this life than I was on God and His kingdom. This started to manifest itself outwardly in my relationships and in my influence.
For months, I had been praying for God to reveal Himself to me. I had been asking Him to bring a revival to my heart. There were times when I wondered if He was going to show up. There were times when I doubted. But God’s timing is always perfect, and He showed up last week in the form of His church. A good friend of mine, who was aware of some of these struggles, called me up out of concern. What started as a “Hey, how are you doing” type of conversation, quickly turned into several hours on the phone discussing what was going on in my heart. While my friend was praying for me towards the end of our conversation, tears began to role down my face. Before he even knew I was crying, he could sense on the other side of the phone that something had happened. “Something just broke,” my friend said joyously.
I went to bed that evening feeling like a thousand pound weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I was more at peace than I had been in probably 6 months. The next day, I was listening to a Christian album while at work, and a song came on called “Strong Enough to Save” by Tenth Avenue North. I had heard this song plenty of times, but as I was listening to it this time I had to choke back tears sitting at my desk. The following chorus wrecked me:
And he’ll break
open the skies to save
those who cry out his name
the One the wind and waves obey
is strong enough to save you
There was no doubt that this is exactly what I had experienced the night before. I had sincerely reached out to my father seeking His love and forgiveness, and he opened the skies and reached down to intervene in my life. From that very second my life was flipped upside down. God restored my influence immediately. He sent people into my life to pray for and to serve. He gave me a new level of self control and of grace. God saw me slowly dying, and He reached down to renew the life within me.
I know there are people reading this right now who are going through similar things. Maybe you have been walking with God for a while, but you are feeling luke warm. Maybe you have a sin issue that is holding you back from experiencing God’s best. Maybe you have been calling out to God for weeks, months, or even years. I hope that this story reassures you that He hears you! And at the perfect time and place, He will break open the skies and renew the Spirit within you! Maybe that moment is right now as you are reading this. I want to encourage you today to hold on, and to keep believing. God loves you so fiercely, and He will break open the skies for you if that’s what it takes.