I can’t do what You have called me to do right now. What energizes and excites me. What stirs my heart and mind. Everything else in my life has overtaken what I feel happiest doing. Even the job I felt sure You had given me is a source of stress, and I’m not currently working in it. I don’t remember how it feels to walk into the building and think “I love this!” I have added things to my life that it seems now I shouldn’t have, and I don’t know how to get out of it. Then there are the things that were added by situations outside my control, and how can I say no? It’s not quiet right now and I’m overwhelmed and frustrated and beginning to be angry at all the commitments and obligations. All the noise and clamor. The lack of quiet and “normal.”
What had been a source of peace and joy is overshadowed by everything else. I can’t access it, can’t get to it, and when I do have the time and space to indulge in what moves me, I’m too tired and overwhelmed, and there’s too much noise in my head to hear You. So I’m coming to You. I’m asking You to give me rest. I’m asking You to take this burden off my shoulders and let me relax for a time. I don’t know how to do it. The straps of this burden are welded firmly to my skin and I can’t loose them. Every day there is more to be done, and less time to do it. Every day there is more noise and less quiet. Every day. I’m tired, Lord.
Your calling is simple, and I’ve made it complex. But I don’t know how to unravel it. I don’t know how to get past the complex and back to the simple. Where are You? I know You’re here, because You’ve promised to never leave me or forsake me. Can we just sit for a while? Can I just crawl up in Your lap and take a nap? When I take my own rest, when I slide down into stubborn laziness, it is still marred by looming obligations. So I don’t truly rest. But I want to do what You’ve put within me to do. I don’t want to rest from that. I can’t balance everything.
I can’t see what You’re doing right now, Lord. The grand dreams I may have had earlier in this journey are dissipating like smoke in the wind. I can see tendrils of them, but they’re ephemeral and I can’t grab ahold of them anymore. Days go by and I can’t find You, and then suddenly there You are and it’s beautiful and holy and refreshing and pure and it’s living water flowing through my soul and I need it so badly. But it’s gone too soon, overtaken by the clamor of the life I have. Startled by the noise around me, it seems You hide, or I suddenly get lost again.
It weighs on me. This burden is heavy, Lord. I’m blindfolded and bewildered. I don’t know where You’re going so I’m not sure of the right steps to take. All I’m doing now is putting one foot in front of the other. Everything I wanted is further away than ever in this dark of night. The former life whispers to me, sly hisses in the ear reminding me of what was with carefully crafted memories. The suggestion to go all the way back is ludicrous, obviously absurd, and it cannot compare to the hope and peace and joy I’ve found with You. But this step I took almost a year ago has led me down into the hidden and murky, and I long for the easier walk in the well-lit and obvious.
I’m ashamed of my temptation to go back to what is normal. There’s nothing wrong with it, and I know You would still bless it and be present in my life, and many many people are content with it because it’s a worthy life. But I felt like You called me to different, not that it’s better than others, just different. Wholly submitted to You, given over to what You would do with this life You’ve given me. Hands off the wheel, truly not piloting my life. Was I wrong? Did I have delusions of grandeur? Was it all a trick of the pride?
I’ve wondered before, You know that. I’ve wondered if I heard You correctly, if I misinterpreted what was just in my own mind to be something You were impressing on me. But never more than now. Now when I look ahead to the future and absolutely cannot see how my life could possibly move from what it is to what I thought it should or could be. The days and months stretch in front of me and it’s all more of the same, more of what I’m doing now, and no time to do what I want to do, and worse, most disheartening of all, the lessening of the desire to do it. If I look ahead and can’t see how it could possibly work, why should I continue to hold on to any dream? Here’s where I’m most tempted to give it up and just live life, Lord.
But still I hear You calling me. When I sit down with Your Word and feel that nudge in my heart, that precious hope or grace-filled conviction. When I write and the words flow from what can only be Your heart. When I teach or just talk about You and I feel the praises rising from some place deep within. It awakens the longings again. Then reality comes crashing in and I feel like my shoulders fall and my heart gets heavier. Why does it have to be that way?
I know in my head that life in the walk of faith is not easy. I guess I assumed that I would have opposition but it would be different. I didn’t expect this. Maybe that’s why it’s so effective. Your enemy is my enemy and he has studied human nature for millennia. He’s smart and wily and not to be underestimated. But Father I’m fighting him and myself too. You know me. You know my tendencies and trends. You know that when I feel like I’m failing I want to hide and give up. I harden my heart to the disappointment and sorrow of letting others down, of things not going the way I think they should. I do know that this is, at least in part, an attack of the enemy because it tugs me away from You. Will You fight for me, Father?
I can pick up the armor You’ve given us and wear it, or at least carry it with me, dangling from limp fingers. I want to stay with You. I want this to be worth it. I want to get where we’re going and be able to stand in Your promises knowing I was faithful and true to You. I want to trust You. But I feel like all I can do at the moment is just keep my head down and walk. I think maybe I wouldn’t be so disheartened with this portion of the journey if I hadn’t experienced what it feels like to soar with wings as eagles.
I can’t fix it, Lord. I can’t change it. I’ve hit a wall. And it’s making me feel ungenerous and stingy and stubbornly resistant. I want to run away. I want to pack it all up, move somewhere where no one can require anything of me, and hide in my home with You. I’m tired.
I’m sorry, Lord. I’m whining. This, what I’m walking through right now, is the stuff of other’s dreams and aspirations. What I’m calling dark and murky and disappointing and difficult is minor in the grand scheme of things. All I can do is my best, all I can do is what I can do and stay true to Your way and to You. I still don’t know how anything will work, but I do know what I feel very positive You’ve put within me to do. I don’t know how to silence the noise, but I want to learn how to hear You above or below it. I need Your reassurance, Lord. I need Your presence, Your encouragement, Your affirmation that I’m at least walking the right path. I need Your reminder that even in failure You will make Your glory shine. I need Your help to put myself aside and remember that if and when I fail, You still love me. I need You, Lord. I need Your rest. Today, tomorrow, and all the days of my life, I need You. I can’t do this without You.