Are You There, God? It's Me.
I've never read the children's book, "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret." but oh, how apropos the title is. This past week, I've found myself whispering those words more than once....it finally feels like Fall here and with the cooler breezes, twirling leaves, and shortening of the day-lit hours of Fall, comes the heavy, unexpected surprises dropped on one's shoulders, moments of discouragement, even despair, and sharp, cold reminders.
Not everything is roses and sunshine. Throughout the seasons of life there are always changes, many unwelcomed and unlooked for. Medical bills, emotional revelations, a disagreement with a friend, etc....the list is endless and seeming with possibilities. A family member suggested I make a list of 15 things that stress me and I wanted to laugh because I could write 1,000 reasons! I did not, choosing instead to make a list of 15 things that make me happy. When I fall, when the world's too much and I am too tired, I never hestitate to ask the only One who can carry me to do so.
Are you there, Lord? It's me. I've fallen again. It's all those darn roots. For some reason, there's so many in the path that leads towards You. I tripped; I couldn't help it...and I'm so tired, Lord. I can't do this right now - I'm too weak. Won't you carry me? I need Your strength, for mine is nothing without You. And Jesus, our good Shepard, tenderly bends and enfolds us within his arms. What a sweet joy to lift one's head and say simply, "I can't. Won't you carry me, please?" Like the small, innocent lambs who see the world with fresh eyes and minds, the wise, experienced sheep in their prime, or the elderly ewes who cannot continue on their own, He gently carries each one of us according to our need.
What is difficult for many is to let Him. And it is hard to let go, to surrender all the impending deadlines, hopeless seanarios, and dead ends...however, I usually don't have a problem informing God I need Him to carry me, probably because I know my limits when I hit them and I know when He needs to take over. I have no problem calling in reinforcements. :) (Now, mind you, I'm not so great at letting go and letting Him take charge from the start - something I need to work on.)
No one is meant to walk and struggle forever without any respite. During these moments of discouragement, Our Lord invites us to rest in Him, to soothe our spirit. It is a humble reminder we are not the Creator of the universe. Everyone stumbles. Everyone falls. Even Our Lord did when He carried the Cross to Calvery. Because of this, He sympathizes with us even more deeply. During His short life on earth, He also felt pain, despair, grief, weariness, abandonment, and loneliness...He understands better than anyone else what we feel, and how desperately we need to be carried sometimes.
For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too (2 Cor. I:5)
It's what helps me keep going....as do the words of a small yet indescribably wise Hobbit, when I too ask, "Why? Why should I keep on?" When evils darkens the door, when the last straw that breaks the entire camel (not just his back!) falls, when I have no answers, no comforting words of advice, when absolutely nothing goes right, when I wonder what I'm holding onto...I am reminded of the simple, profound truth.
"Because there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo - and it's worth fighting for." ~Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
There is always good, therefore, we need to be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly (Romans 12:12).
No matter how bleak things may seem, there is always hope. For when the world says "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."