A Prayer of Exhaustion

A prayer for when pushed past your limits:
 
Lord I am scared. I am worn out, defeated. I wake up dreading each new day, I go to bed late not wanting the day to end. I’ve given you my best, but it consistently has fallen far short as has been needed, and quite honestly I can’t even tell which way is forward anymore let alone how to get there.
 
But still YOU are GOD.
 
I pray that you save me. That you give me a path forward. For I am weak and cannot walk this path anymore. But even moreso I pray that if this is truly the path you would have me walk that you give me the strength to move forward. For how many could you save through one servant’s suffering? How many years of blessings could you bring in turn for this short period of pain?
 
I am broken, and in pain. I have lost so much yet still fear losing more. Each time I feel I’ve hit bottom, I am shown that there is still lower I can and will go. But more than my fear of losing what I have… I fear leaving your plans when they are still only half finished.
 
No matter where I am, nor what I have, nor what I am dealing with, you are watching over me, and you will provide. Even if many of my things I think I need go unanswered… even if I feel powerless watching those around me hurt and suffer knowing I have nothing left to give them… you will still provide when it is truly needed. You will let me feel the heat. You may even let me scorch. But you will not let me be destroyed.
 
Lord I pray again for I am scared. I am truly afraid and terrified. Yet I have seen your hand working so clearly throughout this all. I have seen you again and again working even if not in the areas I wish you were. Lord I am scared. I am scared. I am scared. These giants in my life are far larger than me. And I lay here chained in place half by my own doings. Lord forgive me for what sins I have done to bring me to this place, but also do not let your work be hampered by my own weakness. Lord to me these chains are lethal. Choking and restraining. To you they are brittle. Petty and weak.
 
Lord. I pray not for you to save me. Though I truly desire to be saved. I pray that you use me. That you use these circumstances to help me grow, and to encourage those around me. What a waste of suffering it would be if you brought me this far just to bring me back to where I left off. Lord I pray. I am not some victim struggling to survive. I am YOUR servant! Servant of the most high God!
 
Lord, if you are willing, I pray that you take this meager life, and use it to create an impact that only you can. For what do I have but you? What can I get that is not from you?
 
Lord, strengthen my heart, widen my understanding. Let these things soften me to become empathetic, not harden me to become bitter. Lord I am struggling. Lord I will fall. Lord I already have many times. Please Lord. I am yours. Do your way with me.
 
Amen
Advertisements

Relativity

Relativity:
 
In physics relativity is a word you hear a lot… what it essentially means is that the measurements you make are relative to your own movements and therefore not exactly “Accurate” from a theoretical “Stand Still”
 
For instance… we see a shooting star go whizzing by us and we think “Man it is moving so fast!” But here is the thing…. we are currently on an earth, which is both spinning and moving fast, in a solar system which is rotating fast, in a galaxy which is moving fast… This raises a number of possibilities.
 
1) The shooting star really is moving ridiculously fast, even faster than we are.
2) The shooting star is actually moving slower than we are, and we’ve overtaken it
3) The shooting star is moving at an average speed, but in the opposite direction as us, which makes it seem to be moving uber fast
 
As you delve into how relativity affects things, you realize that the speed at which an object is moving is not NEAR so important as the acceleration it took to get to that speed.
 
For instance, if you were in a movie car chase (DISCLAIMER: Don’t do that, it’s really dangerous) and your car was speeding at 100km/h and you jumped onto the car moving 101km/h, it would be a lot less lethal than if you jumped onto a car moving 101km/h when you were standing still. (unless you slipped then you’d just be dead either way)
 
Or consequently, you would be much more likely to survive a car coming at you at 15 km/h standing still, than if you were being thrown straight at it 15km/h the opposite direction of where it was going.
 
Are you still with me? Need a moment to de-science your brain? Need a lemonade? A backrub? I can wait…
 
So where am I going with this?
 
Pain is relative.
 
I do not mean this in the way many buzzfeed articles like to use relativity as in “Reality is different for each and every person. You really just have to find your own truth and live by it.” NO! Truth is truth. The car going 100km/h is STILL going 100km/h even if you are going 100km/h with it.
 
Truth is truth whether you see it or not, or whether you notice the effects as much as someone else or not. It’s still truth. But realize it is not the speed of which we are going, but how it compares to the speed we started that affects things.
 
I see a lot of people who say to others, “YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO FEEL BAD BECAUSE ____ IS GOING THROUGH MUCH WORSE!” or people who will say about themselves “Well I feel horrible, but I must be weak to feel this way, after all, there are people who go through _____” Or even still, people who say to me “Wow… after hearing what you just went through, I feel bad about complaining about _____!”
 
No! There is no scale of pain, where you have the right, or no right to feel weak. The question is not, “What are you going through.” but “How does this compare to what you are normally weak in?”
 
Let’s say for me…. I live in chronic pain. I have for as long as I can remember. Every time I move my joints there is bone grating against bone and it hurts like crazy. When someone like me rolls my ankle (save for when I then drop an autoscrubber on it) it really doesn’t affect me much. I feel stiff for the rest of the day and then keep going on. In fact I fall to the ground rolling my ankle at least once every other week. It’s kind of normal for me.
 
Am I then going to snort and laugh at pro athletes or friends who roll their ankles and have to get carried off by two people, have it held up with ice against it, and possibly can’t walk again for weeks???
 
No of course not!
 
My body is not their body. My normal is not their normal. I can empathize with the frustration and pain, but just because it is my state of normal, doesn’t mean I can then go and roll my eyes at how week and wimpy everyone else is.
 
Our bodies, hearts, and minds need time to adapt to the changes. They need time to slowly rev up to the next stage. Over the years I have talked with broken hearts, frustrated children/parents, rape victims, addiction strugglers, people worried about their grades, people worried about when their next meal will come, people worried about themselves, people worried about those around them….. in all these cases they are still in pain… That is a constant.
 
Pain is not a state of being, as much as a stage of transition. The further the transition for us, the more pain we notice and feel.
 
I say this not to justify people to give up and just seek others to take pain from them… no, pain is very much a part of life. It’s our greatest teacher though also threatens to destroy us if we reject it.
 
I say this to let you know, you aren’t weak. You aren’t worthless. If your life problems seem so absolutely petty compared to someone else’s it is not a sign that you’re too weak to get through life. It’s not a sign that you should just give up now.
 
Don’t obsess over the things you cannot do! Focus on what you can do, leave the rest to God. As you face what you can though, you’ll find yourself adapting, and growing, becoming stronger and stronger. You may rarely feel it as life tends to hold struggles no matter who you are, but others will.
 
Life is tough, but you aren’t alone! You can do this! Hang in there!

Random Truths

Random Truths I’ve Noticed:
 
1. Life is unfair… but be thankful it is or we’d all be dead…
 
2. Hardships will always bring about change. You cannot control this… It will either make you bitter or stronger. But which one you become IS something ONLY you can control.
 
3. The people in this world are not out to get you… in fact, most who hurt you will barely even think of your existence… they are too focused on their existence to notice yours so don’t take it personally.
 
4. There is a war going on… it is a MUCH bigger war than just people. So seriously… stop blaming the world’s problems on people… you won’t win that way…
 
5. Life keeps on going… No matter how much you need to slow down, it will keep on relentlessly going… but at the same time no matter how badly you can mess up, it will keep on going
 
6. Results do not signify effort put in. Effort does not signify results you will get.
 
7. You can’t live in someone else’s body. Nor can they live in yours. What feels “Normal” or “Painful” or “Sick” or “Bad” is relative to them…. Someone who has lived in pain all their life may never even realize it themselves as they’ve never known a better world.
 
8. Putting in the best effort, as I said before, won’t mean you will succeed at what you’re trying to accomplish…. but putting in the best effort you can, WILL mean you will succeed at something.
 
9. There are no total losses. Even failure grants lessons and experience. If there were anything you could call an irredeemable failure it would be giving up.
 
10. Your fight is never over until you give up
 
11. If you really want to talk to God… just ask… Like seriously.. do you believe that there was a God who created all of this universe, did all the things said in the Bible, yet finding a way to communicate with you is beyond Him?? Pray, desire, listen.
 
12. This life does not rest on your shoulders alone. There is no point to assuming it does.
 
13. The greatest asset you can gain in this world, is other people’s support
 
14. The Lord brings people in our life to support us or test us. In all things though they are meant for your good and His glory. Do not blame others. Do not blame yourself. Praise God that you can grow closer to Him
 
15. A wise man is a man who knows he is not wise.

Proof in Pain

What do you do when things keep going wrong?

I don’t mean you get called out for the corners you cut, at least then you would have the comfort in believing that things would be better if you pushed yourself harder… I mean, what do you do when you push yourself far beyond your limits daily, you address every sin you can think of, you organize yourself, you face things you don’t like doing, cut things out of your life that hold you back, pray daily and hard, read your bible daily and intently, seek wisdom of others, and you still fail! (Not that you are perfect but if life required perfection, which ones of us could stand?) When the problems that keep coming up aren’t from lack of foresight, but incredibly unlikely things which mercilessly barrage you and threaten to overtake you. “If it’s out of your hands, why worry about it?” Is comforting until most of your life is out of your hands… until you find yourself continuously backed into a corner… as your own strength and endurance is continually taken away from you, as the size of your problems only seem to multiply…

What do you do when life is unfair, there is no hope, and the harder you pray, the more ridiculously hard life gets?

You find hope in that…

Because there is no logical reason for all of this to happen… because it is totally unfair to suffer so much when others who work half as hard end up 10x more successful and relaxed. Because it makes no sense that the harder you pray for deliverance, the harder your suffering becomes…. it makes no sense unless you consider life simply trying to tell you to grow up and take life in your own hands.

But why would life try to say that? Why would a non sentient state of being alter the forces of our world just to get that point across? The only way is if there were an entity of great power trying to make one give up hope that there is an entity of great power. The only one who would benefit for the denial of their own existence is one who wishes to destroy you, or the devil. The only reason the devil would work so hard to make you give up would be if there was one he was trying to keep you from seeing.

The world says, “Because there is suffering there is no God.” I say, “because there is suffering there MUST be God!”

Take faith, walk strong, pray!

When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers; Pray!

A few times now I’ve asked the question… what do you do when God doesn’t answer prayer? What do you do when instead things just get worse?
 
You watch as your hope slowly goes away. You wrack your brain for what you could be doing wrong. You work yourself to passing out because “Your still standing! That means you can still do more!” Subconsciously you lower your expectations to your prayers because… well you’ve been going for months, and years now of having your prayers not answered… it’s okay… you know the answer… why would it change now??
 
The answer though, at least from what I’m starting to see, is none of those things above.
 
So what do you do when God doesn’t answer your prayers? What do you do when instead your situation continues to get worse and worse?
 
You pray again…. And you believe….
 
Pray and persevere! If you wake up to find that nothing has happened, pray again! Perhaps there is a level of spiritual warfare you are not aware of like in Daniel. Perhaps God is using this to help you grow. But pray again!
 
Is God bound to helping you? Does God HAVE to answer prayer?? OF COURSE NOT! He is God! He doesn’t answer to you and me! He isn’t bound to codes and rules! He is God!
 
But! It is because He is God that you can take faith that He WILL provide. That He WILL answer prayer. Not because He has to, but because it is who He is!
 
But what if He doesn’t answer prayer? Then what will happen to me?? Won’t I just look like a fool desperately whacking my head against this same wall as I slowly drown? What if I’m missing something? What if I was wrong all along?? What if God wants me to do it myself??
 
PRAY! PRAY! PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY!
 
If God wants you to do something differently then ask for Him to show you! If God is waiting for you to do something, Ask Him what it is.
 
Do we serve a God who is mute? Who plays a “hot and cold!” game with us in finding His will? Does He delight in seeing us torment ourselves worrying about if we are doing it right or not???
 
DON’T BE AN IDIOT!
 
If you’re that worried about if you’re doing things right or not, then ASK GOD! ASK HIM! ASK HIM FOR CLARITY! He created the universe with nothing but His voice, do you honestly think He can’t get through our thick skulls to clear things up?
 
I cannot say this enough. If you truly believe in God, then why do people question this so much? Why do people feel it rests on their shoulders alone to determine what’s God’s will and what’s just our own selfishness talking?? If that’s the case you may be better off not believing anything at all! If you don’t believe that God can do so little as explain what He wants you to do when you genuinely want to know in spite of your fear, then what good is it to ask ANYTHING of Him??? Are you turning to God because you truly believe there is a creator far more powerful and wise than you could ever hope to understand?? Or are you simply fulfilling some sugar pill of a reason to have morals.
 
If you believe there is a God then BELIEVE THERE IS A GOD! If you don’t believe God is there, then don’t! How empty a life would we live in if we tried to go half way???
 
And what if God doesn’t answer? Did Abraham see himself turn into a great nation? Did Moses see the promise land? Did the disciples see the return of God??
 
These people devoted their lives to causes they never saw happen in their life times… are they to be pitied? Did they waste their lives that they could have spent building up wealth and security on something they felt might happen yet never did???
 
NO! The Bible praises them. We hold them in high respect for their faith. Even though they did not see the exact thing they were looking for come to fruition, the journey God took them on in their faith rewarded them in ways we do not realize. But even if they didn’t… is it not better to die following God than to live running away from Him?
 
What can this world offer that’s worth living for? Wealth is a cold companion, relationships can feel shallow, people betray us, power is fleeting, fame turns against us… Without purpose and the rock to stand on, are we not just biding time until we die? Is it not better to die living for something than to live to fear dying??
 
And if you do start to doubt… what will happen? Will your life problems suddenly go away because you stopped trusting in God? Will giving life your best suddenly start working because you stopped giving glory to the creator of all things?
 
The only reason that would work is if there was someone pleased enough with your lack of hope to stop fighting you and give you what you want. The only one who would find joy from such a choice would be a devil, and be careful when he gives you what you want. The juiciest bait lies in the deadliest trap.
 
If God does not answer your prayers, that is His choice. That is His right. That is His decision. BUT DON’T STOP PRAYING! AND DON’T STOP BELIEVING!
 
It is God’s choice whether He answers your prayers or not. It is your choice whether you’ll keep believing in Him or not.
 
No matter what trial you face. Be it spiritual, mental, physical, legal, societal, mechanical, or any level of problems you can find yourself in… God CAN save you. God says He WILL look out for us. God says to ask and He WILL answer, provided we chase His will. BUT! Even if He doesn’t. Even if we fall. Even if we lose everything and are laughed and ridiculed out… Even so! I will still follow Him. For He is the only choice there ever has been.
 
Amen

In the Belly of the Whale

What do you do when you’re in the belly of the whale?

I see a lot of posts, and hear a lot of advice from people who laugh and give nostalgic smiles, and say things like

“I used to be like you… full of dreams, full of passion. But I realized that life didn’t work that way. You need to buckle down and work hard. Put aside your passions until your can afford it. Put a fire under you and take on the jobs you don’t like… because even the best jobs are going to have days you don’t like! But God is faithful to those who work hard. Those who have ambition. Those who take life into their own hands and instead of waiting for him to do something make something with what they have! Remember the parable of the talents!”

But the problem is… what if your dreams and passions are to keep food on your table and a roof over your head? What if it’s not about doing work that’s unpleasant, but being overwhelmed from crying yourself to sleep as your body continues to break down one thing after another? What if you’re dealing with the sins in your life, trying to make responsible choices, but then thieves come, investments fall through, unexpected expenses keep popping up with health and things breaking?

5 years ago, I tried to live life according to my dreams… I took a job offered to me that would bring me closer to the person I was dating, I got an apartment that I could afford and seemed sturdy and safe. My plan was to work my way up and muscle through the grunt labour for a year or two so I could apply for better jobs and put my business diploma to use. Then when I was self sufficient I would marry my girlfriend, and we could live a nice, simple life, trying to help out those in our community around us by sharing with what God had blessed us with.

But as I worked there, I discovered something worrisome. I discovered that my best was below mediocre. I discovered my body was physically not capable of keeping up with the bare minimum requirements needed to keep working.

For an entire year I pushed myself. I lost about 60 lbs (40 of which were in the first 2 months), I saw my doctor, I exercised, I ate well, I pushed myself to the point that I would pass out for two days straight, and was often coughing up blood from the exertion barely being able to speak anymore… and yet not only could I not keep up with those who would simply be chatting or goofing off… my numbers were actually getting worse! I tried applying for other jobs, but my employee profile was tied to my ability to do my job, so my resumes would be instantly thrown out before they were even looked at. I was given a tough choice… quit with no job, or risk permanent damage to my body….

I chose the former and moved back home… then ended up working 6 hours a week for a year which put me into further debt. I wasn’t just a victim… I shop when I’m stressed… sometimes it’s for investments I think can help me move forward, sometimes it’s for distractions to distract me from reality around me. I got to my eyeballs in debt in spite of my applying everywhere and trying every angle I could get… Finally I fasted and prayed, and the next day I was offered a job as janitor at my church that I hadnt even applied for.

Around that time, I started studying Japanese. Originally it was just a step towards learning many languages (make your first your hardest and all other languages will be easy) but during that time, God slowly put Japan on my heart more and more. Till finally I asked Him to send me where He wants and He put Japan on my heart….. But I was up to my eyeballs in debt… and graduated college not university which makes immigration tough! And I knew my parents would hate the idea considering how much trouble I was already in!

So I backed out, justifying it by saying to God, “If you can provide the way there and win over my parents, I’ll study the language because thats all I can do!”

And I continued running… hiding and waiting for there to be less and less obstacles in my path… God offered many opportunities for me to follow… People who seemed eager to help me, contacts in conversation schools and churches… but I put them off… because I was scared… because I felt I couldnt do it… I was Jonah running from Ninevah. Though not because I feared Ninevah, because I feared the land I was in right now.

When I had the injury back in May, I realized I couldn’t run anymore (literally) I realized, it wasnt about trying to find a safe path to follow God… I needed to follow God so HE could lead me down the safe paths. And so I applied for University… I did serious research. I confronted my parents. I studied seriously…. I took myself from If God makes a way” to “I WILL follow Him!”

But now I am in the belly of the whale…. it must have been hard for Jonah… to finally decide to follow God and realize it was beyond his power to do so…. I understand that fully… But what do you do in those situations? When questions like “Where will I live, where will I work, how will I afford these next 2 years until I can go?” Fill your head.

You pray. You pray and you follow God.

The whale that prevented Jonah from going to Ninevah is exactly what got him there.

Pray and follow God. Trust in Him, not your own understanding. Human wisdom and pride are poor companions for following God. Focus on what you can do now. Let God worry about what you can’t do.

You are not making the path. You are following the maker!

You can do it. You are not alone. Amen

The Way Forward

Give God Your Best!
Continue To Strive To Improve
But realize that it is not your strength that can save you.
Realize until God says it’s time for you to be saved you will not be.
 
Is it your own failings that are holding you back? Would your life have been better if you had known about one weakness or another? Do you panic constantly about what sin in your life you can’t find yet that is keeping you from moving forward??
 
Don’t be crazy. If God worked like that how could anyone move forward? Are we not all sinners? Do we all not fall so short of where God wants us to be?
 
If life is not going the way it should then pray. Pray for God to save you. Pray for God to show you all you need to improve on. Pray for God to give you the courage to endure and the wisdom to move forward. But if you cannot think of how to improve, or if you stumble after trying so hard to overcome one sin in your life…. will God keep hitting you until you get it??
 
If there were a sin in your life you knew about but would rather justify or ignore than deal with than that is different. In fact, there will be many who will tell you this is the case as others can pick up the appearance of evil in yourself better than you can… but only you and God can truly know your heart.
 
If you know of sin in your life, deal with it! Even if you fail at dealing with it, keep trying to deal with it! Pray to God for help, He is very reliable when it comes to dealing with temptations! But if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. If you can’t think of how you can do any better in your old weakness. Should you be beating yourself up on how you cannot move forward?
 
Does God’s plan rest on your shoulders? Does God’s plan rely on you having the purity of a saint? Does God’s plan require you to have a greater strength than any other human in the world?
 
God does not ask you to be perfect to complete His plans. In fact the Bible says many times that you never will be perfect.
 
It is not our goal to be perfect and lead His plans. It is our goal to follow Him!
 
God has used liars, cheaters, murderers, and lunatics. Idiots, cowards, the depressed, and the anxious. God CAN use you. God WILL use you. Realize your current circumstances does not rest on your shoulders alone. It is God who will decide what and when your rescue will be. And He will do all things for His glory and your good. So trust in Him!
 
Amen