"The Spirit helps us in our weakness for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." -- Romans 8:26-27
I've seen this scripture before. Listened to it. Read it. Shared it. But not until today did I really hear it. And all of a sudden I started rejoicing. I felt as though a weight had been lifted. (Sigh). In black and white, loud and clear, I got the message: I don't have to know it all . . . have all the answers or even know all of God's language to communicate. That there is something on the inside of me, alongside of me, something within my spirit that steps up when I become tongue-tied and feel my inadequacy and says 'I got you' is simply a RELIEF!
It's a gift, really. I'm cheezing right now at what seems to be such a simple understanding of this passage: I have my very own translator!
How refreshing, particularly when you are the Pastor and oftentimes, expected, counted on, depended on to provide the answer or have a response. When you're the one who is expected, counted on, depended upon to pray at every gathering! When you are the one who without a doubt spends countless hours with Jesus, countless hours doing little else than reading the Bible, countless hours sitting in solitude and meditating. (Yeah, right!) Under this assumption, why wouldn't you be expected to engage in lively conversation, battle on behalf of, and petition for. But alas, there are many times I am not up to the task . . .my mind is confounded. . . my thoughts are a jumble of mess . . . my mouth is as dry as a desert . . . and I have difficulty praying.
Yes, sometimes the pastor/preacher is speechless.
I confess there has been many a Sunday when I have stood before the congregation waiting to hear, turning over in my mind what I should say . . . upset that I didn't remember that great passage of Scripture I wanted to include in the prayer. . . begging the Lord for guidance. . . pleading for God to give me a hint of the concerns in the room. . .only to hear: 'Juana, just speak! Just talk to me! I'll tell you what to say' And like a flowing fountain, the words begin to come. It's as if on cue, the Spirit steps up and takes it's position and makes clear what needs to be said, right when I have struggled and wrestled enough to exhaustion to compose something that would sound proper and profound and intelligent. And like a boxer with no more fight left, when I do finally surrender, true heart matters speak.
I learn later from my members the words that are shared are the words that many wanted to share as well . . . words of affirmation they needed to hear . . . words of healing that allows all of us to surrender unto the Spirit that had been saying all along, 'Turn it over to me. Let me translate the language of your heart to the lover of your soul.'
Why I have struggled . . . continue to struggle at times with these matters of trust and surrender, I am not quite sure. It may have something to do with my will and desire to say the right things, do the right things and be right. It may be because I have reverted to my 2-year-old self, who rejects help and assistance in an effort to "show you" I can do this on my own. I can be independent. I'm a big girl now. Ah, this is exactly why the Spirit steps in. My toddler self is not aware of all the in's and out's of the stages of maturity -- one of which is knowing when to surrender the 'will'.
Each day on this journey, I am learning to surrender the 'will'. My growing edges are becoming clearer and with each assignment I discover I've been working way to hard and too much. I have a personal translator who's always on the job and "knows more about me than I know about myself and my pregnant condition. So, today I choose to stop fighting and allow my personal translator to do its job, cause it really does take the pressure off.