“All true passion is born out of anguish.”
— David Wilkerson
When God stirs our hearts there is a movement beyond ourselves in our spirits.
Anguish means extreme pain and distress and it is a nemesis that clings to all too many of us.
There are many forms of it. There is the anguish of a crushed heart seeking, ardently, the Lord. There is the anguish of the one still running from God. There is the anguish of the soul that ‘gets’ God and cannot help but connect with the heart of God who reaches into us every second by his anguish for us; for us to live his ways and to turn from the ways of the world.
Many forms... of anguish.
Then there is concern. I’m concerned about so many things, but they hardly ever convict me; I relate but I don’t engage. I offer my polite but pathetic encouragements, but there is no difference made for the glory of God.
Converting Concern to Anguish
The reason many people don’t experience intimacy with God is they have reached the level of concern for their Lord, his Kingdom, and his Word, but they haven’t travelled to the dungeon of anguish for the truth that lies exposed for all to see; that, in God’s heart.
To see this truth, to smell and taste it, we must get down into that deep and dark place where only God can revive us; it’s a baptism in the truth—to resonate with the pain that is literally everywhere. But to survive such anguish we need to be healed sufficiently first.
How can we know God if we don’t know pain, if we can’t connect with it, or if we’ve been protected from it? This is good news for those who have known, or know, pain.
But pain is only half the story.
We must find our own ways with God in order for God to heal us of that pain; to bring the good out of our anguish and convert it into the cogency of passion—for him, for the suffering world, for the gospel, for our ongoing healing.
Taking ourselves from concern to anguish is the deeper commitment to God—where we give God our whole lives. Nothing’s held back. We die to the self, finally, so we might finally live.
Our biggest spiritual problem today is indifference; we are concerned about suffering in our world, but not anguished by it. At a personal level we also need to convert our inner anguish into something useful for both ourselves and God. We need healing so we can be of use in the Kingdom of God. Anguish is the starting point—its energy takes us all the way to Passion.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.
Postscript: if this article resonated for you, take the seven minutes and twenty-five seconds to listen to David Wilkerson’s full message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGMG_PVaJoI