Hope When You’re Hanging by a Thread
Back in early 2015 I remember my mother-in-law saying, “When we had our second child, it felt like we went from one to twelve.” Boy was she right! When our son AJ arrived on May 12th of that year, my wife and I were both shell-shocked; it seemed as though someone turned the intensity knob for life up to eleven!!! We were both tired, worn out, and exhausted, and had pretty much zero energy or desire for spiritual pursuits. In my case baby #2 felt like God was just piling on an already difficult life - four years of chronic pain had me at my whits’ end, and even before our son was born I felt fortunate on most nights if I slept for more than 2-3 hours. I knew I should be conversing regularly via prayer with my heavenly Father, but my mind - and heart - were a complete blank.
Have you been in a place like this? Alicia Bruxvoort from Proverbs 31 Ministries has, and she shares her experience in her devotional titled “Hope When You’re Hanging by a Thread.” Her introduction includes a number - 2,920. That’s the number of days she’s gone without sleeping through the night. I’m guessing any parent reading this can relate in some way, especially during the infant years (my kids still sneak into bed at night and wake us up!). Worn out, Alicia said this:
Deep down, I knew that my discouragement wasn’t the result of sleepless nights alone. My body was exhausted, but my heart was depleted as well. I'd been hanging by a thread for so long I couldn't even pray. I knew God was with me, but I couldn’t find the words to tell Him what I needed.
I remember feeling that way as well, especially during the first years of chronic pain. I’d wake up at 1:30am, scared, hurting, and exhausted, mind racing with fears, worries, and anxiety. I knew I should talk to God but didn’t have a clue what to say!
For Alicia, relief finally came when she took a moment to dig into God’s Word. She found Hebrews 4:12, which states, "For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective] …" The Bible isn’t just words on a page; no - it’s living, active, and filled with power from above. As Alicia reflected on the passage, she began to compare her feelings to God’s truth:
My soul felt sapped, but God’s Word was alive and active.
My body felt weak, but God’s Word was full of power.
My mind felt fatigued, but God’s Word was energizing.
My efforts felt fruitless, but God’s Word was operative and effective.
She found rest in God’s Word; we can too. I particularly loved this spiritual jewel: I realized this — I was no longer holding on to God's promises; God’s promises were holding on to me.
If you’re feeling worn out and overwhelmed today, take a moment to open God’s word, and let His promises grab hold, lift you up, and give you the rest you so desperately need.