Eric Youngblood: Groaning O’er That Pit In Your Stomach

Thursday, December 6, 2018 - by Eric Youngblood

What if God were standing on the front porch, gently rapping with his knuckles, on a glass pane in the front door while you were searching Craigslist for a 2011 Ford F-150?

What if, during red-faced rants about reducing 4th quarter expenses and heads held in hands of disagreement---while huddled around a mahogany conference table with coffee cups, M&Ms, and bottles of Evian water littering the surface, God was phoning into a conference room phone that went unanswered?

Or if, on Tuesday morning while stuck behind a pokey Volvo on the way to school with an AP Calculus test on your brain, God whispered on your Spotify station, just as you punched the power button for a moment of silence to glance over your notes?

Invitations Declined by Neglect

I wonder how many invitations we decline by neglect?

How many solicitations from the heavens have we received that got immediately junked in the trash can of our minds as we rushed to our next meeting?

Is it possible that while we were arguing with a spouse who didn’t come through again, or yelling at a child who thumbed her nose at us, or while answering the last text from our best friend Laura, that the Desire of every heart was patiently waiting for us to turn around to find him?

Is there a chance that each time you don’t know what to do, or find your quarterly sales slow, or that you can’t quite make it out of bed without the heavy sense of moving through molasses, that the Healer of the nations is “standing at the door and knocking” so you can groan the ache in your chest, the pit in your stomach, the spinning of your head?

Opening up When the House is a Mess

Of course, we may be slow to answer if the knock on the door spells trouble for us.

But what if...just what if, the One knocking on the other side of each stab of unmet expectation, each joy-marauding moment of anguish, or every self-stuffed moment of boredom was One “who had long waited for you speak?”

What if, though flustered and unprepared, you went ahead and opened the door?

Perhaps nary a word of welcome would issue from your stunned lips, only a flurry of embarrassed protests:

“Oh, Jesus, my house is mess. I’m so sorry. We’ve been so busy. I haven’t been able to vacuum or even do a lick of laundry. I hate it that it looks like this in here. And I know I look terrible, I haven’t even had a chance to shower yet today---the baby was up all night wailing (she’s teething), and Phil’s out of town...Jonathan had soccer practice, and Lizzie, ballet. Jimmy has to be at Boy Scout’s by 6....I’m so sorry, so sorry, but come in, come in.”

And you stand there exposed. A hot stew of desperation and shame boiling on your insides. Tears pooling in the corners of your eyes.

And what if, in that moment, this waiting Visitor on the front stoop of your life, looked at you long and sweet, and said nothing more than,“What do you want me to do for you?”

How about living into that invented moment with Jesus during your private prayers during this Advent season, whether you are much of a praying sort or not?

A Yanking Desperation

Picture yourself, saying a first variant of what’s now known as the Jesus prayer, but was, long ago, fervently mouthed by blind Bartimaeus, begging, as he was, on a roadside when Jesus passed. “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (cf. Mark 10)

Many, we are told, hushed him.

Tried to shame him into silence with cocked heads and and exasperated eyes.

But desperation yanked the words out of him furiously. “SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!”

And the Son of David, with mercy to spare and compassion jumping on his insides, responded, “What do you want me to do for you?”

How would you answer?

What do you want the Jesus who is configuring molecules and moments to grab your attention and to reclaim your life, to do for you?

Why not pretend at prayer that He is asking just that?

Why not answer Him as if His question is anything BUT pretend?

------

Contact Eric Youngblood, pastor of Rock Creek Fellowship on Lookout Mountain, at eric@rockcreekfellowship.org


Upcoming Street Closings Announced

Wilson Road Neighborhood Group To Meet Tuesday Evening

Dakota Meyer Speaks At Annual American Heroes Dinner


Here are upcoming street closings: Johnson Street Johnson Street will be closed between Passenger Street and Rossville Avenue on Wednesday, July 17, until Wednesday, July 24, from 8:30 ... (click for more)

The Wilson Road Neighborhood Group will have a second meeting Tuesday night to discuss installing street lights along Wilson Road from the Georgia state line to Happy Valley Road. The meeting ... (click for more)

The Honoring the Sacrifice Foundation held its sixth annual American Heroes Dinner last weekend. Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer told his story in his own words and reminded the sold ... (click for more)


Happenings

Upcoming Street Closings Announced

Here are upcoming street closings: Johnson Street Johnson Street will be closed between Passenger Street and Rossville Avenue on Wednesday, July 17, until Wednesday, July 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily for building construction. Lightfood Mill Road Lightfoot Mill Road will be closed at the railroad tracks between Youngstown Road and Cherwood Lane on Wednesday, ... (click for more)

Wilson Road Neighborhood Group To Meet Tuesday Evening

The Wilson Road Neighborhood Group will have a second meeting Tuesday night to discuss installing street lights along Wilson Road from the Georgia state line to Happy Valley Road. The meeting will take place at Rossville Elementary School on Wilson Road at 6:30 p.m. "These lights will improve safety along this stretch of roadway," officials said. Walker County Commissioner ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Shots Fired Through Locked Door Killed Man, Injured 2 Others Near UTC Campus; Omerrieal Woods Had Been Released On Federal Bond

Chattanooga Police said the incident in which one man was killed and two others injured at an apartment near the UTC campus involved shots being fired through a locked door. Police have arrested both suspects involved in the fatal shooting Sunday. Omerrieal Woods was apprehended Monday evening by the Chattanooga Police Department's Fugitive Unit with assistance from the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Spent Over 14 Years At Brushy Mountain Set To Go Back Behind Bars

A Chattanooga man who spent 14 1/2 years at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary is set to go back behind bars. Gary Dewayne Cross, 42, on Tuesday was sentenced by Judge Travis McDonough to serve eight years in federal prison. He had initially been facing much more time with an initial guideline range of 262-327 months due to his meeting the category of an armed career criminal. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Disappointed In The Collegedale Commission

Back a long time ago, when I was in high school at McCallie, us students were afforded a lot of freedoms. But those freedoms came with the expectation that you knew, above all else, to be honest and truthful. From the outset, this was always assumed to be the case. For example, if you missed a test, you could take it at home and return it the following day, along with a signed statement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Picked Home Depot

I know precious little about hot water heaters except for Rule No. 1 – when one that’s older than your youngest child starts leaving a pool of water on the kitchen floor, “take low and go.” Replace the thing and forget about it. I don’t want to discuss it, don’t want be a prudent buyer by taking half the day to study it, and I am not about to drive all over town to find the best ... (click for more)