Earlier this week, I found myself overwhelmingly angry with God. One of my normal responses to anger is sitting down to write, so that’s what I did. As I began writing, these words came to mind…
Have you ever found yourself in a place where you were tired of praying about something? You felt as if your prayers, even the prayers you revised so you wouldn’t seem so selfish when talking to God, seemed to be ineffective. You repeatedly told God all of the things that worried you, you told Him all of the things that excited you, you told Him all of the things that you were thankful for, and you even had the audacity to ask God to move in some situations in your life. You got down on your knees to pray, you prayed while walking to and fro, you wrote your prayers out in a journal, and despite all of these things, you still found yourself in a place where you weren’t quite sure if God heard what you were talking about! That’s where I am this afternoon. I’m tired of praying about some things in my life…it seems like God just won’t move!
I ask myself, what’s the point…things don’t seem to be changing…I deal with the same foolishness day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year and I’m tired! My awesome and amazing God fails me time and time again, and I’m left thinking…Why pray? Why continue to spend my time seeking the Lord’s face when nothing changes? Why talk about the goodness of God when sometimes I look around and struggle to see the good in God? Why pray?
I was in a bad place with God when I wrote these words, but after sleeping on these thoughts for an evening…I realized that although my feelings in that moment manifested as anger towards God, I was really in a place of complete surrender. It was as I wrote those words that I was admitting to myself that the challenges God has placed before me have left me feeling scared, and perhaps afraid of failure. For me, acknowledging that I’m scared is acknowledging that I need God to lead me, guide me, hold my hand, carry me, and show me how to navigate the waters that lie ahead of me. I’m not paralyzed by fear, I’m willing to step out into the waters, but I need God to help me.
That’s a big deal for this stubborn woman of color…prior to yesterday, I don’t think I’ve ever publicly said out of my mouth to anyone “I’m scared”. That’s just not me…even if I am scared, I’ve always felt a need to keep it to myself and maintain an outward facade that says either “I’m calm” or “Please, ain’t nobody scared of that”. But yesterday, I let down my walls, I put all of my cards on the table face up, and admitted that it’s not that I’m tired of praying, it’s that I’m scared, I know I can’t reach the next place God is taking me in my life with my own strength, I must be totally surrendered and admit I NEED God’s help…I need God to calm my nerves…I need God to help me put down the analytical thinking cap and stop seeking complete understanding…I need God to give me the strength to relax, breathe, and let life unfold…I need God to lead the way because I’m too scared to step out into this terrifying place all by myself!
Funny enough, as these thoughts were running through my mind…I was reminded of my middle nephew. Like me, he’s strong-willed…he’s always up for the challenge, but in those moments where he’s a little scared, he quickly grabs his teddy bear, “Bear”, as he affectionately calls him, to bring him some comfort. He holds Bear tightly in those moments and won’t let him go until he feels at ease again. And even when he puts Bear down, he always knows where he can quickly find him again should another scary situation arise. I think that’s where God wants me to be in this moment of my life…freely willing to admit that I need to cling to Him and Him only because I’m scared…it’s not a time to be angry, it’s a time to cling to my source of comfort and strength and allow him to give me peace in this scary place. And like my nephew, after I have the courage and strength to face the present challenge before me, I need to always be willing to quickly run back to my comfort when I can’t face the next challenge in my own strength.
If I’m honest, some of the challenges placed before me are truly “God-sized” and I don’t even know where to begin. I won’t even speak them out of my mouth because I don’t want others to view me as a failure if things don’t go well…but I’ve decided to surrender to God and let Him work it out.
Until next time, may you find peace and the strength to surrender to the God-sized challenges that lie before you today!