October 17, 2018
By Zack Stubblefield, Student Associate
My wife, Na Lim, and I have been parents to our beautiful Baby K for almost 16 months. Most nights, our girl sleeps through the night. Glory to God! But sleepless nights (you know those ones that never end) are a recent memory. I can remember midnight, 2am, and 4am wake up cries very vividly–that cry that could pierce any soul. Awake!
I must say that I am blessed with an ability to sleep and sleep well. Many nights, I slept through that initial cry, but let me tell you what happened next. In the comfort of my sleep, I would begin to feel poking around my ribs. Na Lim’s elbow nudging (that’s a nice way to say it) me to move, to wake up, and to respond to Baby K’s crying. My role was not to sleep soundly, but it was to respond to our hungry daughter, comfort her, and deliver her to her mother to eat. She was hungry, crying out for food until she was satisfied. After she ate, I would wrap and swaddle her to take her back to her world of sleeping peacefully, hopefully for a few more hours.
“Are you awake?” Jono Moehlig asked these convicting words to the Mt. Bethel staff in our chapel on Tuesday. I want to answer that question with a resounding “yes,” but honestly, most days I think I’m sleeping. Remember, I am a sound sleeper.
At the same time, I have no doubt that God is waking me up! Even better, He is waking up the worshiping community at Mt. Bethel. He is poking and nudging us in the ribs to respond to a crying world, hungry for the Bread of Life that satisfies.
Take a look at the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). This is the ultimate nudge and elbow to the ribs to wake up. Jesus uses these commands: Go, Disciple, Baptize, Teach to obey, and Remember that He is always with us. In fact, those are five elbows to the ribs. God nudges us awake because these words of Jesus are commands for you and me. These words are in some sense more than just a command. We are awakened because the Great Commision is an invitation, too. Jesus is with us always; we are awakened and invited to join Him in His mission. We are elbowed in the ribs to wake up, respond to a crying, hungry world, deliver them to Father, and send them back into the world as Disciples of Jesus Christ. Awake!
I wonder, “Are we awake? What door is God opening for us to respond to a hungry world? Is God elbowing you in the ribs?”
Just in the past couple of days, God has elbowed me, hard, in the ribs. He has opened a door to an opportunity to connect with a man who lives in our apartment community and may not know Christ. I have to respond and wake up, and I must go and remember that Jesus is with me. Tears are welling up in my eyes as I write this. I don’t know where God is leading me, but I’m going to trust Him and follow Him one step at a time. I have no doubt that this young man will become a friend and a brother. Will you join me in praying as God continues to elbow me in the ribs?
Even better than me being awakened, He is waking up the worshiping community at Mt. Bethel. He is poking and nudging us in the ribs to respond to a crying world, hungry for the Bread of Life that satisfies. Awake!