What Holds us Back?

I am sitting here on the shores of the Indian Ocean reflecting on my past week with the students of the Ukunda Mission School. And today, Sunday, is a day we, Vaughn, Joe Spence and I have set aside to pray for America.

As I observe this boat bobbing on the waters, I realize that although it gave the initial impression of movement, it is not going anywhere because it is held down with an anchor.

Many of us have the impression we are moving somewhere and we give that impression to others, but on further observation it becomes clear we’ve not moved very far from the things that have held us down.

Chronic patterns hold us back: patterns like fear of failure, the need to impress people, unrealistic expectations of how we need to control others’ behavior, fear that traumas of the past will be repeated in the future and even a secret offense with God that He has not done things the way we had expected him to do them.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”

My experience of the past week teaches me that those who mourn that they’ve not been able to move further in their lives, will be comforted by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will reveal to them what it is that holds them back and will give them a word that sets them free from the lies they have come to believe.

But for those who do not grieve but who say, “I do not have a problem; I’m content with life as it is; I’m satisfied with the sensation of movement”, the Holy Spirit will not be able to give His comfort.

So I will grieve; I will mourn for the things that hold me back, that hold us back as a Church, that hold us back as a nation, confident that God will bring his comfort.

How great will be his comfort. We will run and not be weary; we will walk and not faint; we will mount up with wings as eagles.

Blessed be the God of all comfort.

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