I must say that I am writing this edition with such a sense of weight on my chest. We’re getting ready to move and there are so many ‘must-do’s’ to get done. The worst part of it is that we can’t start working down the list until our military orders are given to us. It is as though we’re on one of those really scary roller coasters. The chest bar has been lowered into place–a ride is now imminent. We’re securely held but I have absolutely no control over the ride that is about to occur. We are pitched onto our backs, climbing the highest hill of the coaster, and each lurching click of the train brings us closer to the free fall. The dread of sitting suspended over the 90 foot drop is much worse than the drop itself. At least during the drop I can concentrate on swallowing my stomach, which will be in my throat. Instead, here I am with sweaty palms all ready to go but waiting on something external to begin the process. Moving about is so much easier than inactivity, at least for me.
I find myself in an uncomfortable place right now. I suppose it’s a good growing place though, because I find myself in almost constant prayer. It is at times like these we are reminded how much we do really need Christ’s presence in our lives. Surrendering control is an act of will, but it is also a process. I keep picking up these burdens only to remember that there isn’t a thing I can actually ‘do’ to potentiate them. It is a nervous, tidying habit I have. I continually pace about the inside of my mind picking an object up and then putting it back down; realizing there really isn’t anything I can do with it. I remind myself of an ex-smoker. At the first sign of stress, I am reaching for my front shirt pocket, patting it habitually only to remember that I don’t smoke any more.
Throughout the day I keep remembering to give my burdens to God. The New Testament continually reminds us to cast our cares upon him. Frankly, that can seem a little trite. It is the pat answer that you hear from other Christians who are speaking to you from their happy little place looking askance at you in your dark hole. That answer is right up there with “just think positive thoughts!” Well, heck, I can positively believe in the tooth fairy, but that doesn’t make her real. I can believe in Santa too. Or I can even believe that the earth is flat, but all the believing in the world won’t change the truth.
The truth is that we, as humans, will experience hard times. Positive thinking won’t change that. In fact, Jesus told us to expect hardship. I’ve been a Christian for a long time; at least 30 years. I try to read my Bible daily and I have thought of myself as someone who knew their Bible, but I got a surprise yesterday. I discovered a continual theme throughout the Bible that made all of the difference for me. It is truly a pivotal moment in my faith. Not only are we told to cast our cares upon him. (Jesus said come unto me all you who are weary and I will give you rest for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.) But I learned that JESUS HIMSELF IS PRAYING FOR ME!!!!
How amazing is that!!?? Jesus intercedes on our behalf. He knows right where we are. He knows that we will struggle, but he quite literally is on your side lifting you up before His father in prayer. I am so grateful to know that. It isn’t as though he pats us on the back and says, “Good Luck with That!” No He is continually intereceding for you. It is his desire that we succeed. Yes we need to give him our burdens, but we can rely on the fact that he is right there rooting for us and even sending angels to comfort us in the worst of times.
Here are some scriptures that demonstrate Jesus’ prayers:
Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
First, Jesus prays for himself. That’s a relief, because I pray for myself all of the time. 🙂
Second, Jesus prays for his disciples in vs. 6
Third, Jesus prays for ALL believers; that is you and me!
vs.20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
v. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. WHEW!
v. 31 If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also along with him graciously give us all things?….Christ Jesus who died-more than that who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us! I like the word also here, because it confirms that God the Father is strengthening us too.
I absolutely hate feeling out of control! The truth is, we are almost never in control of our situation. We are only in control of how we respond. What a relief it is to acknowledge our helplessness even though being helpless is so hard to tolerate. This week, as I face my challenges head-on, I’ll be asking Jesus to cover me with his prayers. And I am blessed to know that He ‘along with all good things’ will be glad to give them.