Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Prayer of Resignation

In early 2006 things began to go backward with my health again. By April, I was in a state of exhaustion that was brought on by sleeplessness and new battles with debilitating fatigue. My immune system is compromised and the consequences are again physically real. My fatigue symptoms came back in almost every area since early 2006. I knew I was in trouble and I knew I had to find a solution or my ministry might be over, at least in public. In fact, I wondered if my life might be shortened through all of this. Anyone who has really been there will understand me when I say that in the middle of such a crisis you often privately wish that it would be over. But one thing is for sure-God had my full attention again.

So, when I saw my physician a few weeks ago we went over all the lab results and talked. I told him, “Tell me what I really need to hear since God has put you in my life to give his counsel to me.” He looked at me, paused, and answered: “What are you really trying to prove, John?” The Lord had once again powerfully addressed me deeply within myself. I knew I was hearing his voice and he desired for me to listen very carefully. My doctor and I then talked about me and the solutions to my life long struggle.

The end result is simple. I came home and accounted for my life, with new openness, to my lovely wife. I spoke to some board members and friends. I canceled all but two or three out-of-town ministry trips between now and September. (I am going to take some rest trips and see some baseball!) I also took out my appointment book and canceled almost everything in the book for the next few months and resolved to not fill up my days with going here and there. What I also did was resolve to write and complete books that have been sitting on the shelf of my busy mind for years. I believe God showed me myself very deeply, by showing me himself very deeply, and he said to me: “I love you, John. You are a competent minister because of my grace. Stop trying to prove this to everyone else, especially to yourself. Relax, enjoy me more intimately in private, discover my created world and love it, and most of all, love your friends (and family) and make more time for them.” I am learning the truth of what Larry Eisenberg meant when he said, “For peace of mind we need to resign as general manager of the universe.” For me, this resignation requires lifelong work but I hope to stay on the job for years to come.

===>Click headline to find the compelte article by John Armstrong . . .

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