Anguish

Do I honestly believe what I say I believe? Do I care and love the way I like to think I do? Do I know the reality of the world I live in?

The other evening I innocently happened across a city-wide zombie-thon thing in the old-town district of a neighboring city. There was death and gore literally walking the streets. I felt like I was looking at the inner souls of these people–not just the facade of sweetness and everday-ness that is so easy to assume, but the true inner workings of their being. I saw the utter lostness, the darkness and depravity of this world walking the streets right in front of me. This is who these people are on the inside–and I was surrounded by it on all sides. There they were, supposedly alive, and yet walking in death. The stark reality of it all hit me like hardly anything ever has before.

But, oh Jesus, where is the anguish of my soul? I feel so cold and dry sometimes. If what I believe about You is a reality in me, then where is the anguish? Why don’t I feel overwhelming distress at the thought of souls lost in darkness apart from You?

I feel passionate, and yet I’m still so passive. The reality of my life is still so apathetic and lethargic. Anguish is not just a flash of emotion, a concern for what is happening. Anguish is the utter agony of soul–deep pain, distress at the highest level. And I don’t have that right now.

God, I don’t want to be blind to lukewarmness. I refuse to turn a blind eye to the lostness of this world. Jesus, I long for that agony of soul–that anguish of heart. Break my heart, Jesus. Keep me awake at night, unable to sleep for the very fact that Your name is being blasphemed and mocked in this generation! The very knowledge that approximately 5,000 people have died just during the time it has taken me to write this blog post–how many of them have gone to an eternity without You? And here I sit . . .

When I don’t feel anguish over the things that You feel anguish over, it is equivalent to standing by and watching as person after person walks unknowingly into the way of an oncoming train–and I am sitting by watching complacently as they walk to their death. If I truly believed what I say I believe about God, His name, His word, heaven and hell, and the reality of truth . . . wouldn’t I be desperate to tell everyone I see? Shouldn’t I be completely overcome with passion to tell of God’s glory and the awesome good news that God has made so clear to me? Wouldn’t I be running the streets like a raving lunatic proclaiming the truth to anyone who might hear and be saved from damnation and eternal darkness?

God, I don’t have it. I’m not where I need to be. Joy comes from anguish. Grant me that anguish of soul and heart, God! I need to be broken and spilled on Your alter. Grant me this, Jesus . . . grant me this anguish. This desperation. This distress. This deep pain. I want this, God. I long for Your heart and Your burden!

If souls are going to end up in hell, let it at least be over my exhausted body. If hell is going to claim someone, let it be not without a fight. Oh, that not one soul would end up apart from God without having heard the knowledge of truth!

A quote from an old “mighty” in the faith: “Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell, but, Lord, I want to set up a rescue shop within a yard of hell!”

Jesus, let that be my prayer. The true cry of my heart!

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