The week after Easter was one of the worst weeks I’ve endured in recent history.
It actually started Easter Saturday morning. I could tell I was getting sick. Actually led to my being in bed Monday through Wednesday. I preached two services on Saturday evening. The services were great but I felt horrible. After the services, our Worship Director, my wife, had the good fortune of having to inform me that we didn’t get a good audio feed to go out to our campuses for Sunday morning. I had to stay (with our amazing tech team) and preach again–to an empty auditorium–to get the message right for our multi-sites.
Ten minutes into preaching for the third time Saturday night (not in a good mood at all), God spoke into my heart. “Greg, I was willing to send my only Son that I love deeply, to give the world the Good News of Easter. My Son was willing to die on the cross . . .” Okay, I get the point! I’m willing to stay an extra hour.
To make matters worse, none of the three people that I’ve been praying for and had invited to our Easter services actually showed up.
After the weekend and being sick for three days, we found out that baby Elijah was not coming to our house. Emotional train wreck.
We had initially scheduled to go to Memphis for a week of vacation after Easter but canceled our plans due to the arrival of the baby. By Thursday is was too late to drive 11 hours for two days away. Sooo, we were stuck in Ohio, rainy weather, for the next four days.
How do you deal with a week like that? We all have them.
To start with, staying home forced us to embrace the pain. To talk through all that was going on. To wrestle with God. To shut up and try and understand what God is teaching us.
I also have great friends around me. Our Thrive home group called from Florida and California (where they were enjoying spring break) to make sure we were doing okay and to let us know, that even from a distance, they were walking through this with us. The Stinklings (my Pastor buddies), e-mailed and prayed with and for us. I have a great staff team, that I get to do life with, that poured out their hearts to us.
In the end, the journey with God and with others is what it’s all about. We’re coming out the other end of the tunnel . . . healthier and more committed than ever to follow Jesus no matter the cost.
How do you deal with a crappy (and there are other words I’ll refrain from using) week?
I know it sounds a little bit trite, but lots of prayer. Sometimes lots of prayer and a glass, or bottle, of wine.
Truly though, I take time to ask what I am being taught in all this, to talk with friends, to even take time to pour into others. I usually am in a much better mood after that.
i am one of the “lurkers” that routinely read your blog. i have been praying for you & your family.
Please be encouraged to know that you, your church & your staff is not only making an impact in the area around your church, but other places as well.
i found your church during one of my visits to the area to visit my Mother.
Since then i have had the gracious help of your Admin pastor, she helped us find a bleacher contractor for our church in NC.
i have also ran into numerous people here in SC that have either been to River Tree or have been affected by it one way or another (all positive of course)
So…. keep up the GREAT work you are doing.
You are making a BIG difference.
Starbucks, a hot bath and get under the blankets early!
Hey guy every week of my life over the past couple of months has been a stressed cry of no more, I can handle no more, and please God make it stop.
I have come to believe that what doesn’t kill us sometimes makes us stand checking for our own pulse, and when these are the things making us stronger, well it is no joy ride.
Ironically I entered my latest personal journey with some prayers for the will of God to be done in the lives of my family members and strength for the coming months. Weeks into the spinning my strength was gone and I forgot that starting point. I kept thinking God cannot be seeing this. (forgot I prayed for His will and not mine) It took me weeks of draining myself physically and emotionally to loop back to what was being shown to me in a moment of grace before these things really began.
Help me to want Your will.
I wish that I would not have needed to take the long painful way back around to the joy of knowing its going to be alright and with the will of God comes peace that goes beyond everything I am able to understand.
all things work together…His grace is sufficient…they all seem ridiculus when you are standing up to your armpits in crap trying to look for the exit or tie a rope around someone you love.
Loving what God is doing through you and Praying for your peace today in your journey,
A bad week for us pales in comparison to the bad “day” Jesus had that first Good Friday. I often wondered why it was called “good” when it was the day Jesus (who sinless) paid a price that everyone of us deserves to pay everyday. It was through much contemplative prayer that I came to see the “good” that can come w/ suffering when offered up to God as St. Paul says in 2 Cor 4-6. The “good” that happened on that first Good Friday was that Jesus suffered to become our salvation. That is why St. Paul also states “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23) “a stumbling block ….”
Even though I have suffered great personal loss (several children born w/ congenital issues), these pale in comparison w/ the concept of the God of all creation, lowering himself to human form – and to top it all off, suffering.
Give it to God and He will bless you beyond compare.
On a side note, I am not a member of your church, but do know people that attend. I noticed in the blog that you would rather spend an hour with Howard Stern than the Pope. I hope your reasoning is to convert Howard to faith in Christ and not a disrespect for a Christian figure in our world. I personally would give up that hour of my life so Howard could meet the Pope!
I’m an artist. My most raw works come after pain. They’re such a personal look into my life that I can’t show them to anyone afterwards, but it releases me. Art is another form of prayer, in my eyes.
Ironic, after a crappy week I find peace in listening to you preach and your wife sing. Thank you for changing my life.
Funny, but I would much rather tell YOU what YOU SHOULD do during your crappy week than answer your question, which is, what do I do.
The truth is, I usually do a lot of whining and complaining because I am basically a wimp about emotional pain, etc. Then, I send an email to my thrive group, or I call a friend or relative and ask them to pray for my attitude. After that, I just do it. I just get through the week the best I can. Sometimes, later, I receive a bunch of insight about it; sometimes not.
It doesn’t always help me to think about Jesus dying on the cross or all the people around me who are dealing with things that are 100 times harder than whatever I’m going through. Sometimes it helps, but often, it just makes me feel like I’m not “doing it” right. So I just go to God and tell him the truth…That I know what he did for me, that I know that Susie-so-and-so has a bigger problem than I do, but that right now, my stuff is just overwhelming me. Then I ask him to change my attitude, and I try to cooperate while he does.
Sometimes a crappy week is just a crappy week, and sometimes, God is doing something big, working some kind of change. It’s painful! Hang in there…
You and your family have been in my prayers alot this week……I guess I don’t know if there’s anything I could say that would help you with your crappy week. I do know that after some of my crappy times (they come in days, months, weeks, moments) there are always great opportunities to see the grace of God present in my life. I don’t mean to say that we have to have the crap to get the grace….but I do know there’s a connection for me between my trials and where I see God working most miraculously in me. I am so glad that the crap doesn’t come when I think I deserve it, but it does come sometimes when I am least expecting it. Because of these “crappy times”, I hope that I have been able to share the grace and love of Jesus when I see others going through the crap. I absolutely know that being at Rivertree the past 2 years has been a lifeline for me and my family and that you and your message and Pastor Al and everybody else have shown me the grace and love of Jesus. I hope and pray that you will be uplifted from all of this…..and that you will rise with more love and more grace. (sorry about the use of the word “crap” so much!)
Wow – I would have to agree with the last comment. After a crappy week, just sitting in church listening to you preach and praising God is the best! I am so thankful for that time to “recharge” every week.