“The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.”
Have you ever felt empty? Devoid of any emotion, strength, or will? Have you ever felt as if you have nothing left? Nothing physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually? Just empty?
It really is a struggle, isn’t friends, to make it through each day in such a state. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop for us either, does it? There are still jobs to do, families to care for, – even when all we want to do is lie down and just stop.
And I believe it could be worse for those of us that call ourselves followers of Christ. After all, we are supposed to be filled with joy each day. We are supposed to be strengthened by the Lord in all circumstances. We are the beloved ones, with callings, and grace, and the supernatural on our side. Sure, we might get down sometimes, but if we call on the Lord, He is supposed to lift us back up again and we are to keep going.
However, if we are really honest, maybe we can all admit that when we encounter times of struggle and hopelessness – that the last thing we want to do is pray. It’s true (for me anyway.)
When I find myself on empty, and I have nothing left, I don’t care about praying either. It just seems too…hard. So I don’t and I continue to flounder around doing my best under my own downward spiraling power.
I found myself in such a place in these last few weeks. A place in which I was so tired, that I just didn’t care about anything any more.
But, in the beginning, I fought the valiant fight. I spent a couple of weeks on the outset (when I could see what was coming at me,) spending more and more time in prayer. I kept asking God to restore my joy, to cover me in peace, to relieve my anxiety. But nothing worked. I just kept tumbling toward the abyss.
Then, two weeks ago, my pastor gave an invitation at the end of our Sunday service. He said that anyone that needed something from God should come and pray. So I did. And something amazing happened.
As I approached the altar, God whispered in my ear, “All you need is me.” And that was such a profound word for me. For months I had been praying for all the things I needed for Him to GIVE me: peace, joy, relief, etc. But I on this day, the only thing I asked for was His presence. I finally got it. All I needed was Him, and not what He could give me.
Every day since then I have been praying for God to just be with me through the day. Nothing more. And, strangely enough, I have been feeling so much better. I have more energy. I have a better outlook. I have some of my joy back. And I believe it is because I am focused on the One walking with me rather than what He can do for me.
We all come to periods of distress and brokeness sometimes in our lives. And the need to rush through them is intrinsic in all of us. We ask our faithful Father to take our problems away. But, maybe if we, for just a moment, considered His presence as the gift we need the most – maybe we would experience something so much greater than a temporary relief of an earth-bound problem. Maybe if we just sought Him more often, we would get a true glimpse of the Divine. That is a piece of heaven that we can treasure and be transformed by. His presence is the only thing that can restore our souls. And sometimes, it takes a long time in the valley for Him to complete His work in us. So be patient. Commit every day good or bad to His plan. And be assured that He is with you and for you every step of the way.