August 24, 2016
I know I've been talking a lot about sadness lately. About war and wilderness; about weeping and grieving. I hope this time of writing about this so much will ease up soon, but it seems that this summer has been a season of heartache and strain for so many people. And maybe you're not going through one of these seasons now, but, sadly, you will. Here is my advice to us all as these seasons hit:
Rally your troops.
When you have found yourself in the trenches of sadness, call out to your friends, your people, your tribe, your community and just say "Listen, I need some prayer." Remember that we are called to weep with those that weep and carry each other's burdens. But no one can carry your burden or even support you if they do not know what is going on. Sometimes it's really hard to let people know you are hurting. Or you feel selfish for asking for prayer. (And sometimes you just aren't ready to share yet...and that's okay.) But we are meant to live in community and to lift one another up. And pulling your community in tight around you works. If you ever believe even one thing that comes out of my mouth (or that is typed from my fingers), please believe that.
One of my favorite verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
pray without ceasing
It's in the middle of a sentence of decent length but it is numbered on it's own:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It actually makes me giddy that it is separated out in this way. To me, it shows just how important prayer is in our lives. Plus, we literally have a direct line to the creator of our universe. Why in the world would we not use it?
But another thing to remember: pray without ceasing does not just mean to pray when things are really bad, but to be constant in prayer, no matter what season of life you're in. I have to remind myself of this often. So many times I am just casually communicating with God when things are going swimmingly and as soon as everything falls apart I'm like "HEY GOD, HOW'S IT GOING CAN YOU HELP ME OUT K THANKS YOU'RE THE BEST BYE."
He wants so much more of us than that, friends. He pursues us daily. Let's pursue Him back.
Be bold and specific in prayer. Take your heartache to God and let Him heal it. Take your anxiety to God and let Him squash it. Be courageous.
And when you feel like you just can't anymore, and that maybe you're about to hit rock bottom, rally your troops and let them stand in the gap for you.
You are so loved. Don't you forget it.