Just when I think I’m maintaining a pretty good pace on this marathon called The Christian Walk, life happens. Ugly, heartbreaking, tragic life happens.  And I pray…and I wait…and wait…for the Holy Spirit to tap me on the shoulder to tell me that He’s right there, and everything is going to be okay.  And I wait…and wait….and the sound of crickets is overwhelming.  And then I remember that I’m not alone in feeling like this.  Many other believers feel like this and have felt like this.  David wrote his raw feelings in the Psalms:

Psalms 10:1 “Why, Lord, do you stand far off?  Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”

Psalms 13: 1 & 2a “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?”

Psalm 22:2 “ My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.”

It’s been around 6 years since I’ve felt this loneliness this deeply, this silence so deafening, this sense of pain so deeply.  And once again, I have to go back to what I know about God and not what I feel.  And while I wait for the Holy Spirit to tap me on the shoulder again, I feel the taps on my shoulder from those whom God has placed in my life:

  • my friend Robin (our pastor’s wife) who stands out in her front lawn and prays with me
  • our church family who text, email or message me to let me know that they are praying for me
  • a dear friend who slips me a piece of paper during church to let me know that God wants me to bring my burdens to Him (Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”)
  • family members who encourage;
  • a co-worker who send you a verse to remind you that our prayers don’t have to be just the right words, we just need to rest in the fact that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. (Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.)
  • a sweet sister in church who slides over by me during the service to just be by me because she knows I’m having a tough morning.
  • elders in our church who pray for me and other members of our congregation; men who have the spiritual gifts of encouragement, mercy, compassion, discernment, and wisdom.

And so as I wait and as I continue on this marathon called The Christian Walk at maybe a slower pace than normal, I’ll continue to remember these truths: 1) God has promised to never leave me; 2) I don’t need to understand everything that happens; 3) I don’t have to have the right words to pray effectively.  The Holy Spirit takes my cries and interprets them on my behalf. 4) I’m not responsible for other’s responses to life situations. 5) I don’t save people, that’s the Holy Spirit’s job.

So for tonight, I’ll remember what the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 4:8:

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord,   make me dwell in safety.”