I don’t know how long I prayed—quite a while—but I spent nearly the entire time in the Scriptures and in my journal. The passages I read and wrote about seemed to be hand-picked by the Holy Spirit for this very day of solitude.
I enjoy bran muffins, especially when they’re right out of the oven, crunchy on top, drenched with butter and honey and bursting with raisins. But we all know what bran muffins are really for, don’t we? Their sole purpose is to promote…well, to promote the well-being of the digestive machinery. I had intended this day to be a sort of bran muffin for my soul, a purgative with appeal, you might say.
If you’ll forgive the analogy, the bran muffin morphed into a colonoscopy. Just as there is a considerable disparity between high fibre and fibre optics, there was a huge difference between what I’d planned and what I experienced.
Silence, solitude and Scripture are not a good combination unless one is prepared to take a painful, terrifying look inside and see just how petty, self-absorbed, shallow and foolish one really is. God challenged and convicted me as I read passages of Scripture dealing with honesty with God, various “abominations”, prayer, and the body as God’s temple.
As I re-read Genesis 3 and contemplated the discipline of prayer, I asked myself, “Why don’t we pray as we should?” I wonder if it is because, as Adam and Eve, we feel estranged from God by the guilt of our sin and therefore prefer to avoid contact with Him. Then, as Adam, we blame other people or circumstances for our sin, as well as that perceived estrangement, while denying that we are actually avoiding the Lord.
As I read the Words of Christ in John 2, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” I made the connection for the first time that just as Jesus’ body was the temple of God, for that reason my body—in microcosm of the Body of Christ—is also His temple. Just as His body was raised, so my body will be raised. I wrote in my journal, “The Person of Christ—His physical, earthly life—beautifully illustrates the triunity of God, as God the Father was in Him (John 17.21,23,26) and the implication of Paul (1 Cor 6.18) and John is that the Holy Spirit was in Him, too. So John is not simply using Christ’s body as a metaphor of the temple, but stating that His body was the temple—the very residence of the triune God (Isa 6.1-3).”