“Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing...
I am weary with my moaning;
... I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.”
~Psalm 6:2a, 6 (NRSV)
What may we say to the struggling spirit forlorn and entrapped in the midst of their harrowing lives? How might we, if it was us, be encouraged? How could we climb up from deep, deep down in redeeming the destiny of a moment’s sustained peace from the battlefront?
Sometimes our battlefronts are unrelenting and just as occasionally we lose all hope.
Times when nothing goes right and the whole world appears against us, we wither. But it’s at these times, most ironically, times when we’re crushed into a fatigued surrender, that we reach out from that junkyard of hopelessness and fall into the waiting arms of God.
But such a process is one that cannot be explained one person to another, just experienced. ‘Answers’ mean nothing unless they’re personally meaningful. This is why we cannot fix other people’s pain.
Climbing Out Of Our Own Mire
If we, ourselves, are given over to such a tumultuous mood—and they often linger for a day, a week, months or longer—we would do well to find a quiet place to fall before the Lord. In this, we’re to be reminded of his gentle grace as we allow the Spirit’s flourishing resurrection power to flow back through us, afresh. It requires total surrender; nothing of us.
It also requires we let go of our expectations of Divine deliverance. When God delivers us in our hour of need it rarely meets with our preconceived notion of delivery—it’s different, and often far better.
Helping Someone Else
Helping someone else is often much harder than helping ourselves, because we can’t control what another person is able to do. They alone must be willing. We cannot will someone to surrender.
All we can do is quietly affirm them, encouraging them in an abyss only they can understand, and provide non-judgmental support. The language is silence, the movement is toward, and the gait is slow. We cannot fix their problem, but we can affirm their sense of the world.
At our most desperate God will deliver us, but in ways we cannot expect. Our surrender meets with God’s invitation to receive Divine grace. Our circumstances are not changed, but the dispositions of our minds and hearts are. Our perceptions are the things delivered. God, alone, gives us the power to see our lives differently.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.