Shabat Thoughts: Poor Souls
I've had quite a struggle over someone for the past few months and finally I had reached the point where I had no words for prayer. I could only say "Lord, you know what 'X' needs..." I felt so helpless to help them and I kept asking God to show me what to pray. He remained silent on the subject and so I've kept on with the old prayer, "Lord, you know what 'X' needs..."
As time has gone on I've become very aware that the relationship between myself and this person is not growing, had not grown in years. I realized that I had reached my personal limit for dealing with them but I am stubborn in my prayer life. Because I can make no headway, I believe God can make headway, that my failure can be his success story. "I don't like 'X', Abba, but still I want to see You work in that life." That was my confession last night. As though God needed me to say that I didn't like this person, that all my efforts to find common ground had failed. He knew that, of course, but I had to 'own' my dislike and stop pretending that I didn't feel as I did. Perhaps I'd been hypocritical in not acknowledging that I lacked depth of feeling. I don't know.
This morning I picked up the Smith Wigglesworth devotional I've been using this year. He spoke of Peter and John and their lack of money, but somehow as I read the words 'Poor Peter and John..." I didn't see them as financially poor but spiritually poor, lacking in their faith, lacking a spiritual understanding of what was literally right before their eyes, the miracles and wondrous provisions of Jesus. I heard the verses, "The poor you shall have with you always..."(Matthew 26:11) and realized that it was not the financially impoverished only but those whose spiritual growth has been hindered, who have reached a certain stage of development and then halted. The same gifts I accept daily from God are before them but they are unable to experience them, unable to make themselves reach out and take what is offered, unable perhaps to even see them, though they are right there.
I saw 'X' as a poor soul. "Give her the abundance of You, Lord. Help her to know all that You are and help her to receive all that You have to offer," I prayed this morning. I felt my prayer had gained power. My heart had opened again through compassion for her in her poverty of spirit. My own soul had become impoverished in my lack of positive feeling for 'X'. Poor poor souls! Thank you God for giving us of your abundant blessings!