Bob Sorge, an author of many books and connected with the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, was in town this weekend and spoke three different times at our church. All three of his sermons were amazing, but the last two were particularly impactful for me. I wanted to type up my notes and thoughts so that I would not forget the treasures imparted to me from this last weekend.
Sometimes there are men and women who have been through so much with the Lord that they have a kind of authority and understanding when they speak that makes you feel as though you had never read or heard what they are teaching. Two years ago John Dawson was in town and I described walking away from that weekend as though I had "dined on a spiritual Thanksgiving Dinner." Mark Anderson was the same way last spring and now, I include Bob Sorge in this description.
Bob was until 17 years ago a pastor and worship leader at a church in upstate New York. A botched vocal chord surgery left him able to speak just barely above a whisper. And, when he does speak, it is in constant pain.
You can imagine for a man whose whole life has surrounded his ability to speak and sing, how devastating this must have been for him. He describes the intervening years as the lowest points in his life. But, from those low points, there's a depth of wisdom about the ways of the Lord that you can only glean by going through what he describes as a "crucible." Many a weaker man or woman when faced with the reality that being a Christian is not only not the prosperity gospel they believe it is but discover instead that it is actually a gospel that just might ask you to be crushed (and at minimum will ask you to pick up a cross) chose instead walk away from the Lord.
This was the topic of the weekend and I felt like Bob Sorge had taken a scalpel and opened up my chest to dissect and reveal the inner-most workings of my heart the last few years.
There is a lot to say about what he had to say, and I'll try to get some thoughts on what he had to say up later.
I will end with this for now. If you have EVER gone through a lamenting season with the Lord in which you found yourself wondering "Why?" over and over; if you have ever felt like you had done nothing to deserve what was happening to you, but yet were going through a trial of epic proportions, you need to read Bob's book "Pain, Perplexity, and Promotion." It has been a life-changer for me. I am almost done with it, and that book, along with the gems from this weekend equal an Erin in a lot of peace right now. I am still in the midst of most of my circumstances, but for the first time in almost two years I am at peace. And that, my friends, is a gift I wouldn't trade for anything.