"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along." (Romans 8:25 MSG)
I sit down with a heavy sigh, trying to understand my mood. My head is full—full of the looming list of responsibilities that seem never-ending. Full of past mistakes and current disappointments. My thoughts wander over to the funeral I attended in the morning.
My friend was a good man. He lived a full life. I am envious of him. He’s home. He’s finished the race and crossed the finish line. He gets to be with Jesus every single day. In person. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more worry. Just unending joy. This sounds indescribably wonderful to me.
My joy is momentarily gone. I just want a nap. But there are bills to pay that are calling my name. Challenges confronting me. Every piece of me wants to put my head down on the desk and mentally escape somewhere. Anywhere.
Two thoughts are competing in my mind in this moment. The first is about discipline, and the real need to fight back the emotions I feel with action and truth. To not let them hold sway over me. The second is the devotional I read this morning about God understanding my humanness when I find my mind wandering during prayer. How he gets my struggles when the weariness of this life begin to seep into my bones. The smallest of smiles teases about my lips at that thought. So, I reach toward the joy I sense in knowing God is so kind, so patient with my limitations and weaknesses. I sit in that thought a while, letting it percolate and brew like a good cup of coffee.
Why are you so good to me, Lord? Your patience, your love are beyond measure. Your shoulders are broader than eternity. Your sacrifice for my freedom is beyond my understanding. Truth is I hate the days I start to carry things instead of choosing to trust you to carry them. Things like the bills. The challenges. The past and the future. Still, here I am sitting with you, right here in the now.
In the now, I remember your sweet promise that you feed the birds of the air and clothe the flowers of the field, so there is no need to worry. I am worth so much more to you than they. I think of David’s cry to you, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4).
I am in awe that you care so much about me. Despite my failures. Despite my doubts and fears.
I lift my head up, gently squaring my shoulders. A song slips through my mind like a warm summer breeze. “Love, come rattle this cage and set me free. Lord, all of my fears like Jericho walls gotta come down, come down. Oh Lord, my prison turns to ruin when your love moves in. All of my fears like Jericho walls gotta come down.” (Andrew Ripp song, “Jericho”).
I feel you tearing down my fears, quieting my heart. Filling me with faith. I face my day with a new resolve, ready to walk once again in freedom.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
Have you ever found yourself in those vulnerable moments when your own thoughts lure you towards self-doubt or lead you astray from spending meaningful time with your faith? How do you manage to steer your thoughts back in the right direction during such instances and regain your sense of self-positivity and spiritual connection?
For me, sometimes I find the best answer in scripture. Other times it’s prayer or spending time in praise. There are moments when it’s listening to a song, or reading a poem or quote that seems to speak to my very soul.
When I struggle, I try to take strategies out like a an old-school rolodex, sorting through until one finally clicks in and chases away the lies, replacing them with God’s beautiful, freeing truth.
And when it doesn't work? I always go to Romans 8:25-27 which says, "Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." (MSG)
Or to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and my burden is light.”
Both scriptures remind me to open my hands back up; to let go of the burdens I’m trying to carry, and deposit them right back where they belong—in Jesus’ capable hands. Consider trying one of these ideas for yourself. Or consider sharing one of your strategies on our Facebook page so we can encourage each other!
Lord, my soul feels weary sometimes, like the weight of this world is too much. Thank you for constantly reminding me that you died to take that very burden from me, allowing me to be free. I love knowing that the moment I ask, you are literally moving heaven and earth for my answer, even if I don’t see the fruit of it right away. I humbly ask you to continue to mold me to your image, to teach me the secret paths of peace you reveal to me in my most tumultuous moments. Thank you for the ways you change thinking with love. Always you are good, Lord. I praise you for your lovingkindness, your faithfulness, and the freedom found within your truths. Allow me to walk under your gentle yolk this week, Papa. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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