My heart is heavy. One of the biggest struggles I have in prayer is the feeling of being overwhelmed. Since March, the weight of a growing prayer list grips me. While good and beautiful moments bring light to the darkness, they quickly seem overshadowed by growing discord, death, disease, and discouragement.
All around me there is suffering. Friends who are navigating unemployment following COVID-19; others who have lost parents or a spouse during quarantine and are struggling through the emotional fallout. One is battling addiction in her family, another a wayward child. While one friend wrestles with despair as she watches her husband fight a cancer diagnosis, others are preparing for their personal battles. A marriage seems in jeopardy as one friend slides deeper into a worldly lifestyle and farther away from commitment.
Feelings of uncertainty, regret, anxiety and fear overshadow each one.
When I add all of that to our nation’s current state of unrest, I’m left numb. I don’t know what to say. My words feel empty and inadequate. Above all, I struggle mightily with what this looks like on public platforms. As I’ve prayed, I’ve found a common refrain, though: Lord, bring healing.
Where Do We Go from Here?
It’s a simple plea, but it’s the one I come back to time and again. Lord, heal our brokenness, our hurt. Soften our hearts and open our minds to love and see others as you love and see each of us (John 15:12). Break down the walls of self-sufficiency, arrogance, and pride, and help us run to you for a lasting peace only you can provide (Romans 8:6).
A few comments and posts have resonated with me over the past few days, and I’d like to share them here:
- “…it is logical to treat others as we wish to be treated. Just as people tend to return violence for violence and hate for hate, they tend to return grace for grace and love for love.” – Dr. Jim Denison (“How Jesus Responded to Violence”)
- This simple graphic created by Danielle Coke was shared on Instagram, and I think it provides a perfect summary for many of the issues we face.
- “We each have been given resources, abilities, spiritual gifts, and influence that can make a real difference in other lives and our society. We must not allow the enormity of the crisis to keep us from doing what we can in response.” – Dr. Jim Denison (“Do the Boston Tea Party and Jesus’ cleansing of the temple justify violence? John Lewis and Jesus show us the way forward”)
My heart continues to hurt. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, whether my prayer list will lengthen or perhaps celebrate a praise, but I find comfort and assurance knowing God redeems it all.
He grieves alongside us; hurts when we hurt. More importantly, He never stops working on our behalf (John 5:17) and will not leave us, even when we feel overwhelmed by the problems we face (Deuteronomy 31:6). For those who claim Christ, the world is watching and listening, and how we speak into any issue should be wrapped in prayer and biblical truth.
Where Do You Turn?
Whoever you are and wherever you happen to be reading this, my greatest desire is that you know the One True God. It’s not about going to church, doing a Bible study, being a good person, or spirituality. It involves a very real and personal relationship with Jesus. If you’re not sure about your salvation, here are a few Bible verses to help:
- Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
- Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Romans 8:1: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
- Romans 10: 9-10: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
If you have any questions or I can pray for you, please follow this link to reach out.