Thank God that’s over for now! The Federal Government Shutdown, the longest in recent history, has ended for now. However, it may resume on 15 Feb. if a deal is not hammered out between the President and Congress by then. Meanwhile, EBC, inspired by the actions of Pastor Bryan Carter and the people of the Concord Baptist Church of Dallas, has collected and distributed $1,000 check and $100 Target gift card to five (5) EBC families, whose breadwinners work for the federal government. We, to be sure, desire to do more and probably will if the shut down persists. However, at the moment this is the best we can do. President Trump and/or Congress may not be concerned about who is hurt by the Government Shutdown, but EBC is. Of this fact, you and I can be justly proud and thankful.
Meanwhile, let’s entertain another shutdown, not as well-publicized, yet is recurrent and wide-spread. In fact, it’s one you and I participate in, sometimes knowingly and other times unknowingly. We stage, stupidly and sinfully, spiritual shutdowns. Like President Trump, when we do not get our way with God, we shutdown on God.
The Psalmist, who is self-identified as King David, shares a personal experience of shutting down on God. It was not his intention, but it was the sin he was in, which unwittingly and unintentionally resulted in him shutting down on God. Listen to his testimony about shutting down on God.:
While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer (Psalm 32:3-4a, NRSV).
Shutting down on God may have hurt, but it definitely hurt David. He was acutely aware something was wrong when he shut-down . What was wrong was not simply between him and God, but within him. Shutting down was detrimental to his physical and psycho-spiritual health.
What turn the tables? He opened up to God. Again, listen to him admit:
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:5, NRSV).
When he opened back up to God by telling him his truth, God transformed his situation. Our country might be transformed if we had more public servants and private citizen who dared to tell the truth—if not to the public, at least to God and themselves. If you have shutdown on God, remember things will not improve until you open back up to him in confession, supplication, and intercession. I don’t what you’ll do, but I’ll try to stay open to God.