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"Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" by Jim Cymbala pastor of "Brooklyn Tabernacle"
This was the second time that I had read this book, the reason that I re-read the book a second time is that my church as a whole read this book during this past summer. As I have mentioned before our pastor loves to read and he encourages the church to read a certain book each season.
Jim Cymbala writes that, "God is attracted to weakness. He can't resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need Him. Our weakness, in fact makes room for His power."
Humans are not attracted to weakness: we want to look at beauty, strong athletic bodies, curvaceous women, a celebrity, a hero. When we see something weak, we want to turn our head and look away.
The hardest day of my life was December 14, 2005. It had only been about 6 weeks since I had had both of my breasts removed because of an early stage breast cancer, I was going through the reconstruction process, I was still recovering from the surgery. My grandson had just been born 5 days before, it was my mother's birthday, my mother that no longer knew who I was because of end stage Alzheimer's, the weather was bitterly cold, windy, sleeting. My husband and I, our oldest son and his wife, their two children ages 2 years and 5 days old, were all gathered together under a small portico awaiting the time of departure. There were many of us all gathered together, grasping and trying to hold on to the precious few minutes that we had left, no one smiled, conversations were few. I wanted to soak in the precious face of my son, to absorb his every freckle, his expressive brown eyes, his hands, I wanted to hold him, I wanted to burst into tears, but he was worried about having both his wife and mother crying for him. My son was leaving, all of his group was leaving, going back to Iraq, going back to combat, and I knew full well that I might not see him again, at least not in this life time. All of this was too much, too much for me to withstand, silently I cried out to God, I can't do this, you are going to have to carry me. The soldiers were all called for formation, then they walked to the buses that would carry them to the planes. There was a little girl about age 7 that refused to let go of her daddy's leg, all the way to the bus she clung to his leg; I wanted to do that, I wanted to not let go of my son, to hold on to him, to keep him here with us. I had to let him go. You know there is only so much a mother can handle, a parent can handle, a wife can handle, a child can handle, human strength only goes so far. God carried me then, and many other times in my life. God in His strength, power, sustenance, grace, and mercy, carried all of us until my son did come back home, back home to his family.
This is a book full of memorable quotes and uplifting stories of members and former members of Jim Cymbala church, "Brooklyn Tabernacle." This is a book full of the promise that it is in His strength and mercy that we are able to persevere through the hard times. This book is also a book of what prayer can do when ignited by those who call on the Lord. The Holy Spirit can work dynamically in our lives and in our churches if we will pray.
I am in a prayer group on Wednesday nights, there are about 20 of us that meet together and take turns praying for those that we know of that are going through a health crisis. There is an enthusiasm and an empowerment that happens when other believer's in Christ Jesus meet together and pray as one body.
Often we are a little timid in praying aloud in front of other believer's, we should not be, focus on who we are praying to, it is not about us, it is all about Him. If we can finally get it through our heads that it is not about us, and that it is all about Him, we can pray with boldness and confidence, and we can pray being led fully by the Holy Spirit.