Today’s Prayer to Passage will be from the book ‘Facing Your Giants’ by Max Lucado.
Today I pray, “Dear God, I feel myself begin to transition from faith to emotional upset in times when expectations ask more of me than I can achieve. I can only do so much. I get mad. Then I take a walk, momentarily remove myself from a place that puts me under pressure, and remind myself that You are as gentle and patient as I can hope for — and I can have expectations, too. Expectations of gentleness and patience from others. Thank You for Your calming repose. I love You. Amen.”
Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to reveal the following passage on page 69:
“Is there a solution? Indeed there is. Doing right what David did wrong.
He failed to pray. Do the opposite: be quick to pray. Stop talking to yourself. Talk to Christ, who invites. ‘Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest’
(Matt. 11:28 MSG).
God, who is never downcast, never tires of your down days.
David neglected good advice. Learn from his mistake. Next time you lack the will to go on, seek healthy counsel.
You won’t want to. Slumping people love slumping people. Hurting people hang with hurting people. We love those who comiserate and avoid those who correct. Yet correction and direction are what we need.
I discovered the importance of healthy council in a half-Ironman triathlon. After the 1.2 mile swim and the 56-mile bike ride, I didn’t have much energy left for the 13.1 mile run. Neither did the fellow jogging next to me. I asked him how he was doing and soon regretted posing the question.
‘This stinks. This race is the dumbest decision I’ve ever made.’ He had more complaints than a taxpayer at the IRS. My response to him? ‘Good-bye.’ I knew if I listened too long, I’d start agreeing with him.”
From out of the blue, a vintage Sesame Street cartoon (posted below) popped into my mind this week. And I had to look it up to view it for the first time in over thirty years. It rings as true today as it did when I was a toddler. What I love about this cartoon is that it highlights a very real complaint that is present among us daily, only at varying degrees. Complaints are a part of life, as much as we would like to pretend that they’re not.
Some of us will step right up and declare, “Oh, belieeeeeeeve me, I am not trying to hide anything in the area of my complaints. I will let you and everybody else know how I am feeling.” We demonstrate our complaints somewhere on the “I get mad” scale. Depending on the day and a bundle of precursors. Yet it feels so good to know that God gives us a real rest amid the upsets. God is patient and kind.
God is peace. God doesn’t give us a look or a tone of voice that makes us feel inadequate. We are loved, honored, and adored by God. There is no level of upset we could ever feel, rumbling beneath our smiling exteriors, that could possibly make God love us less. God is offering us restful love…and a multitude of patience. I feel better already.