This week, I don’t have a blog post in me to write. I don’t have creative thoughts or ideas of how to tackle doctrines or struggles in our lives. I’ve been processing the myriad of burdens that have been hitting us, as a church, and other circles that I’m a part of, and I don’t have much to say. In light of all that we have been experiencing, the most important thing is to pray for one another. So that’s what I will post today – a prayer and a cry for help to our God, who stands with us, in the flesh, in all the muck and mire, despite every right that He had to avoid all our problems. He’s here and listening –
God, meet us here today. Many of us are feeling a darkness and a shadow that blocks out the light of Your truth and hope. We ache from the circumstances that barrage us. Some of us, with tightness in our chest revert back to the fear we felt as children when lost and searching for the comforting gaze of a loved one. We are in pain. Wracked with guilt. Reeling from helpless situations. Gasping from shame. Fleeing in the face of our fear.
We recognize that we hurt at the hands of others, and yet also inflict hurt on others. We, collectively as human beings, are so incredibly creative in the ways we lash out at others and even toward ourselves.
We recognize how this hurts you, God. We lament the ways our sins have wronged others and brought great troubles to their lives. We also lament the consequences of universal sin and how our sinful state has impacted creation, leading to a world in which we simply cannot live and ‘be’ without threat to our lives and health in even the most natural of ways. We cannot run from brokenness. We cannot escape pain.
And here we are, in the throes of it all.
We recognize in these moments how lost we are without Your direction, God. We sense so strongly how hopeless we are without Your loving hand holding onto us in these destructive storms. We are a people who, even upon receiving the hope of Your salvation, experience the gamut of these emotions, which also so unfortunately includes times of desperation. We weep and we yell. At times, we melt at our struggle to see how we might make it to another day.
And we bring that all to You, God. Today, and every day, we lift our hands and call out to our Abba – our Dad – our heavenly Father. We’re asking that You wrap Your protective arms around us. Shield us from what might bring us to our knees. Give us grace for what we must travel through. Give us presence of mind to stand firm beside others who struggle under their burdens. Give us humility and strength, restraint and love, dependence upon You and competence to model You well in the lives of those around us.
God, lift us up when our strength fails. Send us community to help us shoulder the weight of our trials. Shine through the darkness that can blind our eyes. Help us see through the haze. Allow our gaze to lock onto You. We know we cannot manufacture our own fixes to sin and pain and loss. Only You can write our redemption stories. Only You can create hope and invent restoration moments. And that is our plea, God – continue, as You always have, to set testaments in our lives to Your redemption.
You are good. You are kind. You are gentle and faithful. You are patient and long suffering.
You are omnipresent, walking with each of us through our struggles.
You are omniscient, aware of our desperation and each of our emotional states.
You are omnipotent, the only One capable of saving us from ourselves, our circumstances, and our sins.
We know that we are nothing without You, so please God, meet us each where we are at and minister to our hearts as only You can.
Love you all,
Young Adult Minister – Evan McNeff