No, I’m not dead. I haven’t forgotten the blog.
I’m just. . . tired.
Working a lot.
Feeling pulled in every direction.
To quote a very old Bebo Norman song, “today I woke up early, today I woke up sad.”
I’m tired. Tired in a way I don’t know that I’ve ever been before. Bone tired. Tired in my spirit. Tired of everything being so hard. I see friends with deep, deep needs and I can’t fix them. I feel overwhelmed at work, yet still dedicated to the readers, truly wanting to help create a magazine that has an impact on them for eternity, but it’s hard when your team is so small and there’s so much to do when it comes to a monthly magazine. I feel pulled between all my duties at church, sad that I’ve had to turn down working with Upward this year. I feel guilty that I haven’t found time to run consistently in more than two weeks. Add in the fact that I just don’t feel well, and you’ve got an even better picture of my life.
On a rainy day like today, there’s a part of me who wants to crawl back into the covers and cry myself back to sleep. Deep, wrenching sobs that would clean out all the pent-up confusion I feel inside.
So, today, instead of wallowing in everything, which is why, once again, I’m returning to this prayer written by Scotty Smith:
A Prayer About Being Needed Yet Feeling Empty
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Luke 18:27
Dear Jesus, I praise you for the freedom to acknowledge to you this morning exactly what I’m feeling. For the gospel calls us to hope, not to hype… to believe, not to make believe… to prostration before you, not presumption in ourselves. There is no other haven or refuge like the gospel. There is no other god, like you… so welcoming, compassionate and caring.
Sarah laughed at the thought of having a baby in her nineties. Mary was shocked at the thought of giving birth to you, as a virgin. Though overwhelmed, she believed, and I want her cry to be mine. “I am the Lord’s servant… may it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).
Jesus, I need the resources you’ve promised and you alone can give. I haven’t slept deep and long in a couple of weeks… I’m emotionally tired, I’m mentally spinning and the needle on the gas tank is moving towards the red zone. I’ve got friends who are on the equivalent of a spiritual life support system, and they’re looking to me for life.
Breathe enough grace into my heart that I might have something to give my friends who are knocking on my door at midnight. They’re desperate and I don’t want to turn them away.
In the midst of a difficult season in our larger community, other stories of personal struggle and hardship continue as well. For a friend destructively hooked into a pornography addiction, give me wisdom, Jesus. I want to strangle him… not literally, but I’m worn out by the madness. Show me the best way to care for him. What do I say to his wife and kids? What’s going to be the best route to take in the journey towards healing and restoration?
For two brothers that just got pink notices out of the blue… Jesus, this has become an altogether too frequent theme in our economy. Give me the right words, but more importantly, the right heart to encourage them. Show us what it means to trust in the God who raises the dead… together.
Jesus, O God of the possible, I also bring to you three marriages that “have spent everything they have on a multitude of doctors and cures”… but are no better… have mercy… have mercy, dear Lord. You are the great Bridegroom to your Bride, help these friends find hope and healing for their marriages in the way your love us so deeply.
Though I want to run away, I chose to run to you. There’s a whole lot that’s impossible with me, Jesus… big “I” and little “i” impossibilities. So however you choose to bring glory to yourself in these situations, you will most definitely get all the credit. So very Amen, I pray, in your merciful and mighty name.
Check out Scotty’s book: Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Mich., 2011), p. 323.