You who live in heaven
Hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth
On Sunday night, my wife and I prayed that God would provide for us for the week. After thinking about Paul saying, “if we have food and clothing, we should be content” it is either the smartest prayer or the most frightening. Maybe both. I don’t know anymore.
But Monday frightened me. It went well and beyond its normal Monday-ness. After spending a significant amount of money to fix my car so I could sell it, it runs more poorly. The AC is acting up in the mini-van. And some bad news.
Do you remember when You lived down here where we all scrape
To find the faith to ask for daily bread
Part of me wonders if God is sticking it us. Another part is hoping he’s helping us be content with “daily bread.” Have I done something to be punished for? Am I reaping what I’ve sown? Or is this him saying, “I want to provide for you in a way that makes it obvious I am providing for you.”
Did You ever know loneliness
Did You ever know need
Do You remember just how long a night can get?
All I know is, it is not easy living by faith in his provision for daily bread when surrounded by so much wealth and ease. This is not an insult to the wealthy. My heart simply reaches out for those things and grabs at them the same way Bilbo grabbed at the Ring as it hung around Frodo’s neck.
And I know you bore our sorrows
And I know you feel our pain
And I know it would not hurt any less
Even if it could be explained
Intellectually, I can say to myself what I “know” to be true. Or at least what I would tell others if they came to me. You know, “Preach the gospel to yourself…” and all that. I would remind them of God’s love for his children. I know these things. But that story is playing on an old black and white 12 inch. The broken things are playing in high definition. I need those things to reverse at least on occasion. That would be nice.
And I know that I am only lashing out
At the One who loves me most
And after I figured this somehow
All I really need to know…
Regardless, I find myself more hungry for hope in the Scriptures than ever. I figure that if it cannot be there, there is really no hope to be found. Not in food. Or clothing. Or fixed cars.
Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
We can’t see what’s ahead
And we can not get free of what we’ve left behind
I’m reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and doubt blame and regret
I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here
Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led
And so You’ve been here all along I guess
It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get
*lyrics by Rich Mullins, Hard to Get
I’d have to leave a novel to ensure you know I understand. But I won’t. Thank you for writing the hard things.
Your words articulate what we have and are experiencing. My husband has been unemployed for nearly 6 months and each time it seems like disaster is definite, God provides for our needs. Our financial worries are coupled with conflicts and spiritual concerns about recent changes/direction at our church. I keep trying to remind myself that God wants us not to be anxious about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:25-34) While I ‘know’ this stuff, it seems like our situation is just too impossible. It’s like you said, “the broken things are playing high definition.” While I struggle to believe that even in this God is in control and not surprised, I am comforted to know that HE is holding onto me. It’s not up to me to hold on by my fingernails. This little bit of knowledge seems to alleviate the pressure a little. Praying for you and your situation. So glad that I found your blog several months ago as you manage to put into words what I am feeling and experiencing.
We too, are on the verge of losing everything.. Sorry you are going through this. May God comfort you and provide for your needs and more!!
Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories. I do not take it lightly, you would so.
And as long as you keep thanking me, I’ll keeping putting the words down.
When life is at its lowest ebb Jesus is always the closest.
Will keep you in my prayers.
LOVE YA BRO!