Now that’s not to say that you’ll always immediately know what that reason is. Sometimes, you might never know! But we have to learn to trust Him as much with our pauses as we do with everything else.
Let’s be real. It’s been a hard year. I mean a HARD year. Not all of us are making it out with the same number of loved ones we started with. I know I’m not. Death has claimed more than it should have, it feels like.
Not a single one of the family or friends I lost this year was lost to the virus, but you know what? That doesn’t make the loss any easier to deal with. But at the same time, a great many family members have actually HAD the virus, and they’re still here to tell the tale.
These are confusing times. There’s so much that doesn’t make sense, and it seems that when I’ve asked God for clarification, He remained silent. Other times, He gave me specific instructions that put me at enmity with this one or that one.
I think the whole of this year can be summed up by saying that no matter what you do, there’s going to be a boatload of people who will back you, and another boatload or two that won’t.
But that’s life…not death
Some days are better than others, especially with battle-worn armor. Knowing that the fight is real and actually having the strength to fight it are two solidly different things. Of course, staying in tune with Jesus is the only way to maintain that strength. Because it certainly isn’t IN and OF ourselves that we’re capable of making it through. I’m thankful for that, but MAN! When that weariness hits you right between the eyes, the enemy is ALWAYS there to pound you like a two-ton hammer.
I always said I wanted to be the kind of person to help people and bring them to a refreshing place if it was at all possible. After manic depression and failed suicide attempts, I didn’t want to turn into that silent Christian who would rather not dirty themselves with the plight of the desperate. A believer who ignored the wayward ones like me, who were world-dirty and at the end of their rope. No, I prayed for eyes to see and words that would serve as a Balm to their soul.
That’s when I found out…
“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth me morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” (Isaiah 50:4)
Look, there’s only one way to get the “tongue of the learned” or to “hear as the learned”… and that is to LEARN. You can’t do that without going through some stuff. If I hadn’t been in the suicidal pit myself, I would never have known what it felt like. To literally consider death a viable option. If I hadn’t been a drunk, I wouldn’t know what it felt like. And if I hadn’t experienced bone-crushing weariness from spiritual battle, I wouldn’t have known what that felt like either. Really, it makes David’s words in Psalm 22:13-15 take on a whole new meaning…
“They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.”
Goodness, but that is some vivid imagery, isn’t it? The first time I ever heard that I wondered what in the world it could mean. But…
It takes a little “learning” to finally figure it out.
Now, I’m not saying, by any scope of the imagination, that I have figured anything out. Every day is a new learning experience for me. Many of my regular readers already know, my ongoing and DAILY prayer is that if I come to a conclusion that is false, or lacks the whole of the Truth, that God would knock me down if He had to, to bring me to a clearer and better understanding. I find myself praying, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me, try my reins and my heart,” (Psalm 26:2) because I would rather be in the center of His will, no matter what.
So yeah. Here at the end of this inconceivable, unprecedented, unexpected, and WEARISOME year, I’m tired. As my Mama used to say when she was tired, I feel like a rung-out dishrag! It hasn’t been easy. And to make matters worse, 2021 looks to be more of the same, with a heaping helping of, “BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!”
I’m thankful that Jesus hears us when we pray. I’m thankful that sometimes, He has to reach down and catch us as we start to sink beneath the waves. And I’m thankful that no matter what, we have the opportunity to come boldly before the throne of grace for mercy in times of trouble (Hebrews 4:16).
Even when we’re so, so tired.