Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Desperate Prayers

Last night a good friend of mine preached at our church's midweek service. She talked about desperate prayers, and while I don't remember the five points of her message, I hope I always remember the prayer I prayed afterward. There were about 40 minutes after she finished where there was time for prayer and worship, and I thought about all the things going on right now where I am trusting because that's all I can do. This is what I ended up praying:

I can't.

Over and over again, I prayed that. I can't. I. Can't. You HAVE to, because I can't. YOU have to, because I can't. I can't heal sick family members. I can't replace my car or my computer or save enough for retirement. I can't save the people I love. I can't run my life by myself.

Last night I felt some of the desperation of realizing that I cannot live my life without God. I stopped trying for a moment, stopped clinging to the edge of the cliff, stopped trying to string my life together. I stopped picturing myself struggling to piece my life together when I'm 75 and alone. I let go of the cliff, free falled, and told God that He has to because I can't.

And today I feel like a weight has been lifted off me.

It's not that I won't ever struggle or worry. I'm human. But I think I have begun on the path of learning to truly put my life in the hands of God, of trusting that He will care for me for my entire life. Somehow I had this idea that when my parents were gone, when I get old, when the people I love start to die, that there would be no one to care for me, to care about me. I somehow managed to believe that God could only take care of me if certain people were in my life. How freeing to realize that God is bigger than that, that while God shows his love and care through people, he does not require the planets to align in exactly the right way in order for Him to be able to provide and care for His children.

I still have some really big things going on right now that have not yet been resolved. And when there is finally resolution, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be celebrating like crazy. In the meantime, I am holding on to the big picture of God's life-long provision and care. I am remembering how God provided manna and quail in the wilderness. I am remembering how God has cared for His people through all kinds of dire circumstances. I am choosing to claim victory over my life.