The radio station of my choice (local WDJC-97.3) is a Christian station. Every Wednesday morning Roxanne and Chris host a prayer time, inviting different believers from across a wide variety of ministries and denominations to join them in the station for the purpose of prayer. The group hears, reads and responses to needs for prayer from listeners who call in or key in their requests on Facebook. This particular Wednesday, (September 19, 2012) from the moment I turned on the radio until I turned it off I was overwhelmed with God’s provision.
The past few months I have felt like a hay wagon barely crawling to a rest area, broken and used up. Though I listen to WDJC every morning, this morning it seemed every song was a song I needed to hear…the kind of morning that made me long for a playlist so I could purchase and download each and every one. They were reminders of a Father God who would never forsake me, of a Savior God who died and defeated death for me, of a Spirit God who comforted and consoled in times of deepest distress and need. A God who answers prayer.
Sitting in the drive through lane at McDonalds for my “usual” (medium coffee, eight creamers, no sugar) I was able to text a request for prayer on WDJC’s Facebook page. The final words of that request were “I can’t go on like this…I can’t”. Before I reached work, that all too familiar nearly 50 mile trek the coffee wasn’t the only thing gone…so was a huge weight inside of me. Somebody was praying. I knew this even though I didn’t hear (so I have no clue whether the request made it on air or not) a word of prayer on my behalf.
It’s been a while since I felt the results of prayer so instantly…Since I KNEW someone was PRAYING for me…
Only one of the straws that overloaded me yesterday and earlier this morning have gone away…God has stopped the rain but the weight of the other straws has changed. Today, I didn’t go on like I’ve been going, the effort to get through this day wasn’t quite as all consuming…and as I waited to get out of my car I bowed my head to pray along with a caller for who had her own reason for calling, God allowed my spirit to lift…
As I rolled up the ramp into our office building a song to floated through my mind and stayed with me throughout my day,
“What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry,
Everything to God in prayer…”*
It’s difficult for me to say to those around me the words to tell them how discouraged I’ve been, how much I am struggling, how dark it seems, that I keep hearing myself saying, “THIS is not what I want to be doing! Not what I’m meant to do!” Difficult to find the words to tell someone how oppressive the physical exhaustion is by Friday when the work week is over…how a simple trip to the grocery store and to get my nails done on a Saturday saps the last bit of physical and emotional energy I have…how most weeks I have to choose between making five days in the office and doing anything on the weekend, including going to church. It’s especially difficult to say these things to my husband who takes on so many of what were my responsibilities
So I keep quiet (yes, believe it or not I do), for I have…
…my pride…what will people think?
…my stubbornness…I will NOT give in!
…my fear of failing…but this is what I have fought so hard to do! Give up my job? No way!
…my fear of falling…what if I break my “good leg”…or my arm…how WILL I GET UP?
…my sin…lack of faith…doubt…fear…failing to trust my Creator and His plan for me.
…my lack of confession…God I have sinned against You.
I’ve held it in and swallowed the bitter bites…this morning I asked myself, “When will I learn?
This morning I was given the provision of relearning this lesson through a radio stations desire to be more than a place that plays music but that ministers to their listeners, being willing to involve themselves in the everyday lives of the wounded in the most powerful way they can. Prayer.
Instead of mourning NOT being able to stand during worship when everyone else does, I have only to lift a willing spirit to worship. Instead of mourning NOT being able to kneel and pray I have only to humble my heart, mind and spirit and cry out to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Perhaps what I fear most is what I must go through in order to follow the path God has laid out for me. I do not know. I do know I can’t keep going as I have been and I can’t know the rest until I let go and let God.
“Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee;
Thou wilt find a solace there.”*
*Words, Joseph Scriven, 1855. Tune CONVERSE, Charles C. Converse, 1868.