Emotionally healthy spirituality requires you to go through the pain of the Wall, or, as the ancients called it, “the dark night of the soul.” Circumstances and crisis beyond our control interrupt our plans. Chapter 6 of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality unpacks this theme, but a further insight has emerged for me over the years. It comes from someone who spent a lifetime in prayer and silence, a French Carthusian monk, Augustin Guillerand (1877–1945): Someone (God) wounds our soul with a wound that will never heal, and it is through that wound that He finds His way to the very center of our being. Ponder this today as you walk through your own setbacks, disappointments, and difficulties. Think about it: How else can God peel away the hard layers of our false selves in order to free us?
We have not done a good job of remembering Good Friday or Holy Saturday in the Western church. We like to quickly jump to Easter. Tonight at New Life Fellowship Church, on Good Friday, we will remember Christ’s crucifixion through a Tenebrae (meaning “darkness” or “shadows”) style service. The service of Tenebrae has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Tenebrae is a prolonged meditation on Christ’s passion, using Scripture, silence, worship, and darkness. As lights are progressively extinguished, we enter into the overwhelming reality of His death. After the final candle is extinguished, we will sit in total darkness for 5 minutes, reminding us of the terrible horror of Jesus laid in the tomb. Why? The cross is the pattern of our lives. Everything happened to Jesus in some way happens to us. That includes the tomb. On the first Holy Saturday, the 11 disciples were at a Wall (See Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, chapter. Read more.
Leadership is sacred, holy work before God. Whether it be leadership of our own lives, our churches, our famlies or our finances, it is a challenge to mature through the walls and challenges that confront us. It is easier to remain in anxiety, ruminate needlessly, or become reactive when we are stuck. This happened to me recently at New Life around a complex administrative issue before us. As a result I returned to the following simple,but difficult, emotionally healthy skill called, “Bust through the Wall to Maturity.” After working the simple steps below, over many hours and days, God’s pathway became clear. And I found myself flourishing before Him once again. Give it a try: 1. Identify one specific situation about which you have anxiety or feel stuck. 2. To what conclusions might you be jumping? Pass what you think to be true through the “distorted thinking” lens. Ask yourself: Am I doing… —. Read more.