Sometimes, Beth doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Every now and again, Todd doesn’t know whether to quit or to try. They both admit they are tired of people telling them, “You can do it!” as that advice seems to only support human effort. But their weariness does not keep them from the spiritual strength they receive, when they get on their knees, when no one is around. They each have their own secret place, where they give God their junk, before He gives them His promises to face another day, one more time.
For Beth, her secret place is in her car, during a 30-minute lunch break. For Todd, it is downstairs in his den before the dawn breaks. On some early mornings, he does break down. But he also receives encouragement from quotes in a devotional, like what he read from Joni Eareckson Tada, who said “Our tears are liquid prayers.” Beth scribbles down her thoughts in a battered ‘ol journal. She learned a long time ago, it is harder to accept spiritual help from God, until she first acknowledges where she is on the journey. That’s why she loves reading David’s honesty, as found in the Psalms.
In the workplace, the Negative Nelly’s are ready to attack them both, for their Christian stance and values. But after those two spend time with God, their countenance, and sincere smiles of hope, seem to cause their critics to look puzzled, as they scratch their heads, and walk away.
Someone asked Beth, “So why do you do this “Jesus thing”? I love her response. “Because I know He really listens.” If I had to make a list of my pet peeves, I know which ones would make the top ten. One is: People who look away from me, when I am trying to talk to them. It might occur with guests around the dinner table, or out in the yard talking to a neighbor. It makes me want to stop talking, and abruptly end the conversation. It makes me feel like they don’t care.
We all want to be heard. If I were asked, “Nelson, why do you do this “Jesus thing” by praying to a God you have never seen?” I would point them to a verse I had never noticed before, until someone posted it recently on Facebook. “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” (Psalms 116:2, NLT)
How can anyone refuse to “talk” to Someone who really cares and really listens. That verse says He bends down. God does not look away. He bends down to where you are and looks into your soul and your circumstances. He does hear your deepest cries.
One prayer obviously is not enough, as our hectic lives are always changing, and we will always need His help. Thankfully, Paul seemed to know that as he wrote three words: “Never stop praying.” (I Thessalonians 5:17, NLT)
Pray…one more time.
pictures courtesy of Pexels except for journal page from Deskgram.