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Monday, April 29, 2013

Gospel Fire 4: Punching Through The Wall

by Bradly Baird (bio)

For previous posts in this series, read Gospel Fire 1, Gospel Fire 2 and Gospel Fire 3.

I knew exactly what I had to do next. I needed to set aside an extended amount of time for prayer. Not just an hour, but time to really wrestle and explore. I knew that I had become relaxed about some things and that the Lord expected me to fight really hard in order to make the next rung on the spiritual ladder. He expected more and wasn't going to help me out until I measured up and expended the kind of effort that demonstrated real commitment.

The whole thing happened over a particularly difficult weekend.

I had been sick for nearly a month with the adenovirus and was not feeling at all well. My wife also recently contracted a very serious virus and was suffering as well. I finally persuaded her to visit the doctor on a Wednesday afternoon and he told her that she had walking pneumonia. He gave her a number of prescriptions and informed her that she would start to feel better in a couple of days. The symptoms worsened over the next couple of days and by Friday night, the sickness moved into her chest and she was plagued by a terrible cough that caused her severe pain.

She also began to encounter problems with her breathing. I wanted to be sure that she would be okay, so I stayed up while she slept that night. Somewhere around four a.m. her breathing relaxed and I was able to sleep. After waking up a couple of hours later, I did not feel overly sleep deprived and began a very long day chasing the children back and forth to activities, as well as caring for my wife and getting her back to the doctor for a correct diagnosis (she actually had a severe bronchial infection, not pneumonia). At the end of it, I settled down to keep the appointed evening of prayer and contemplation, uncertain of whether I would be able to stay awake for more than five minutes.

Somehow, I was able to stay awake, and at about 3 a.m., after being engaged in prayer and study for several hours, the storm clouds broke. The overwhelming exhaustion and tiredness that I felt for so many weeks lifted and I could feel the Spirit feeding my energy and fire for the Gospel again. I felt completely restored and went to sleep with a prayer of gratitude in my heart for the abiding love of my Father in Heaven.

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