Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
– Iain Thomas
I can add my own admonitions to these. Do not let weariness overcome your energy. Do not let despair steal your hope. Do not let chaos shatter your peace. Do not let your questions weaken your faith. Do not let betrayal destroy your ability to trust.
I’ve been there. I have confronted all of these circumstances, sometimes feeling as if I would drown in my negative emotions. In the years I have lived with kidney disease, weariness has been a part of my life. I well remember times of complete despair when I felt all hope was lost. Chaos has shattered my peace many times. Recently, my mind has been filled with questions that emerged out of skepticism, and I found myself in the midst of a faith crisis. A betrayal by a close friend in 2013 left me bereft and almost destroyed my ability to trust again.
In every instance, I found my way back by leaning into the loving arms of a faithful God who was there with me through it all. In such trying times, I often recalled the comforting words of the Psalmist.
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
– Psalm 139:1-10 NKJV