Feeling Desperate for Help
“But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” Psalm 79:13 (ESV)
If you’ve heard me on the air this week you’ve probably noticed my voice sounds really gravely and rough, and wondered if I’d caught a cold or were sick. Normally I wouldn’t want either of those, but in this case I think I’d be happy for a good old-fashioned cold or seasonal allergy attack. No - my voice is hoarse because I’m in the midst of a particularly acute flare-up of chronic pain. When the pain gets really severe, for some reason it affects my voice and I end up sounding like a frog.
I think there are times in life when we all struggle to get that one foot out of bed in the morning and start moving. In my case the issue is pain; maybe yours has been depression that just won’t lift, exhaustion from being home with several young kids by yourself all day, a marriage that’s falling apart, or a job that feels as though it’s literally draining your life away as the days pass. So how do we do it? How do we face the day when life is overwhelming and the burdens seem to heavy to carry?
Lynn Cowell from Proverbs 31 Ministries tackles this head-on in her devotional titled “Feeling Desperate for Help.” She begins with these thoughts:
The gloomy, rainy weather reflects my heart as I struggle to get up and start the day. I lay in bed and begin to push my thoughts toward hope. Toward my Father.
When the problems of a new day feel bigger than we can handle, step one is turning our hearts and minds towards our heavenly Father and his Word. How does Lynn find the strength she needs on those impossible mornings?
After contemplating the faith of those who have come before me, I find the strength to put both feet on the floor, shuffling to find my robe. I know to make it through this day I need to read some of these stories for myself, supplying my soul for all that will come — whatever it may be.
The author also talks about the Psalms being a source of great strength, because so often the writers of the Psalms were going through the very same battles and expressing the same feelings and emotions. She writes, “Many days, the words that reinforce my decision come from Psalms, for so often I find the writer in a place similar to my own. Desperate for help, the words are cries to God to bring relief: "Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake"(Psalm 79:9, NIV).
There’s no magic silver bullet when we’re going through times of hardship, pain, and loss - but creating spiritual disciplines that point us towards Jesus and his strength can be just what we need to take that first step in the morning. Sometimes that’s all we need - the courage and strength Jesus offers when we call out to him.