When you were a kid did you ever arm or thumb wrestle only to be released from your opponent’s tight grasp by screaming Uncle or Mercy? Or is this just what us country folk with an address of RD#4 (rural delivery house 4) did for fun? No one wanted to be the person to give in. I’d twist and contort my body, face grimacing, giving it all of my might. But then sometimes it actually hurt, real bad, and I’d have to shout out “mercy”! And oh that sense of relief when the other person let go, phew!
I don’t know about you, but as an adult, one who is extremely independent and slightly strong-willed, I find it challenging to ask for help. Perhaps it’s the control freak in me, or maybe it’s the fact that I had to grow up pretty fast and take responsibility for my life? It’s probably a little bit of both. I’ve gotten better at this as I’ve matured, especially as a working Mom, knowing that I just can’t do it all. I’ll begrudgingly ask my husband, family and friends to step in when I need them. And I’ve really learned about being dependent on people when it comes to my neurological illness, sometimes I just can’t do things for myself.
Why then is it so hard sometimes to cry out to God? Why is it so hard to say to him “Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles without numbers surround me…Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me”. – Psalm 40: 11-13
Especially when I know that he sees when I am struggling. He awaits my call.
I’ll give you an example. Work is stressful right now. I’m feeling frazzled, tired and antsy. On a day when I’m being disciplined, I’ll walk away from work, take a few deep breathes and open my bible. Even if all I do is rest my head on the open pages and pray. But then there are those other days. The days when I turn to everyone and everything but him. I text a friend. I e-mail my husband. I call someone. Maybe do a little overindulging with food. Some mind-numbing with Facebook or Netflix. Distract myself with a good book. I exercise (better than the food idea). And before I know it, its 10pm and I’ve never even talked to God, not once, not even a hello, how you doin’. It’s no wonder that when I plop my head onto my pillow my mind is spinning, my thoughts are careening and I can’t get to sleep. I know that I need him. I know that my day runs better with him in it. Some days I get all wrapped up in myself, I get all wrapped up in life. Yet I know that my life is his. He loves my beautiful mess- as the song by Hillary Scott goes:
So bring your thoughts, your flaws, your secrets.
And watch him use those broken pieces.
We ain’t perfect no.
We ain’t even close.
We got holes in our hearts.
We got scars we don’t show.
But all that baggage we.
Keep on dragging around.
Anytime we start laying down.
Lay it down at the foot of the cross.
Give it to the one who can carry it all.
Even at our worst, to him we ain’t lost causes.
Just beautiful messes.
No matter where you are right now.
Let thy grace come pouring down.
Here’s the song, I’m totally digging on it:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23
The next time I’m in an arm or thumb wrestling match with this thing called life, I sure hope that I remember to cry out to him “Mercy Lord, I need you. I can’t do this without you. Please untangle my worries and hurts. Help me to trust, to release everything to you.” That sure beats twisting and contorting my body, face grimacing, giving it all of my might only to realize that I’m still hurting and sometimes it hurts real bad. And oh that sense of relief when I let go, phew!