Three days after a Resurrection, and already I quake.
Have I so quickly forgotten the promise? Do I not recall the sound of the rolling stone, grinding out praise to release my Jesus from a dark vault? Do I not remember the cross and sacrifice?
Only three days.
I think about the Israelites, who passed through a parted sea, with Pharaoh breathing down their necks. Three days later, the rescued ones were grumbling.
I shake my head. I am one of them. I am among the stumbling grumblers in the Desert of Shur.
This quaking has a name: worry.
My heart has been ripped open with worry. And all I can do is groan prayer. I pull a wordless S.O.S. up from the soul. I think it sounds like this: “God help us.”
PRESCRIPTION ONE: PRAYER
And here, in this groaning, I answer my own questions. No, I have not forgotten the cross or the tomb. I need the reassurance of both Good Friday and of Easter morning more than ever. I need the prescription for worry.
And I find one prescription here: in the Spirit work of prayer that starts deep, and finishes at the throne of very God.
The Bible tells me that sometimes, the groaning prayers are the very best cure of all.
“… The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” – Romans 8:26
PRESCRIPTION TWO: COMMUNITY
I walk along asphalt, glazed by rain. I wear my worry: a single tear slides down my cheek. I weave through parked cars — through spring rain — toward the classroom where I teach. I cradle the cell phone between my ear and shoulder.
I tell the friend on the phone about the worry; she helps me beat it back. And right there, rain on my back, I know that a second way to evict worry from the mind is to ask a friend to link arms with you, to remind you that daylight is coming.
“By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”
– Ecclesiastes 9:12 (The Message)
PRESCRIPTION THREE: WORSHIP
“I’ve been singing away the worry,” I tell my friend on the phone. “I won’t stop singing His name.” I punch the air — the rain — with a fist.
Until there’s a break in the clouds, I’m going to keep singing, I tell her. And even then, I won’t stop.
Her voice reassures. She says it’s all good, because singing His songs helps us take captive our thoughts, making them obedient to Christ — even when the rain keeps falling.
“It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. … We use our powerful God-tools …, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (The Message)
If you are like me — with one foot stuck in Good Friday darkness, sick with worry — let’s race for the cross-shaped cure: prayer, community, worship.
Here’s the good news: The Doctor is in. I know, because I just finished talking with Him.
Sharing with Ann today …