This life is not always so easy. We all walk through various forms of laughter, dancing, toil, pain, and we journey through our own struggles. There are days standing on a mountaintop, and the warmth of the sun is felt on our face. There are also days in this journey, when we remember to simply be consistent and do what is needed…. no fireworks, or mountains…. but duty with purpose plods us along. One foot in front of the other. Sometimes we don’t even walk… we crawl slowly, wondering if we can make it even one moment more. And then sometimes there are moments when even crawling seems impossible, and we lie face down. Really not even quite sure how to utter the words.
Words. Prayers. Cries. Pleas.
Recently I had a great conversation with a good friend of mine, we laughed as we thought about the times when we pray our nice little “right” prayers…. Only to immediately walk away allowing thoughts, doubts, frustrations, and questions to flood our mind. But we don’t dare so say those things to God. No way buddy. I’ll just say the things I know that are right, and then I’ll struggle along in my mind with all this other stuff swirling around…
I won’t say things like… “Where are you God? I can’t feel you now.” “Why do I have to walk through this?” “I don’t think I deserve this!” “Where is justice?” Or even, “I’m so weary, I really don’t know if I can do what you seem to be asking of me…”
Do I think God can’t be bothered? Do I think that I’m so bright and shiney in His eyes I might taint His view of me? Am I afraid to be transparent with the One who created me? He who knew me before I even was in my mother’s womb, and the only one who knows the end of my journey!
We’re silly sometimes aren’t we?
I was reminded this morning of the parable of the widow and the unjust judge… “a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart “ (Luke 18:1b). Funny, how childhood memories stay, stay, stay, and stay with you, isn’t it? Every time I think of this parable, I think of the old “Flying House” anime show, and this particular episode always stood out to me. It was something about the widow’s approach… her facial expression… and the fact that night and day she cried out for justice. She wasn’t concerned with being proper, or frozenly fearful to approach, or even slightly worried what the judge would think of her personality. How much more freedom should we have to freely persist to ask our Father, who is good and just?
She was relentless.
She was persistent.
She was desperate for Him to hear. She knew where her only source of hope truly was… and she acted accordingly.
…And then the last line of this story all of a sudden jumped off the pages at me… “I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8).
Will He find faith in me?
The fact remains that when we cry out to Him, we show that we do believe He is there. We do believe He is listening. We can believe that He is leaning His ear to hear what is said in our distress.
Will I cry out to Him.. nothing held back… ALL of me. Every thought, every fear, every burden, every doubt… giving it to Him?
I should. You should.
He knows our way.
With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!
In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me;
No refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.
(Psalm 142 ESV)