An Honest Prayer: Part 2

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18 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    It is this reality into which Christ willingly plunged to rescue us. The God-forsakenness of human existence beckoned a response that only the Son could accomplish.

    These articles sadden me the most of all you write. Blessed are the poor in spirit…

  2. Michael says:

    Alan,
    I am terribly sad and very tired.

  3. Michael says:

    I’m open to correction…but it seems that many deceptions have gone forth…and found a home with our kin.

  4. Alan says:

    No correction. It isn’t my experience even in my episodic and sometimes severe depression. Still, I’ve no advice as every word sounds like a Job’s worthless comforters.

  5. Michael says:

    Alan,

    I think your words may bring some balance or at least a flicker of hope for those reading…I will not be offended.

  6. JD says:

    Spent a couple of days in ICU doing tests. Treadmill was the worst. Will have to wear a Holter Monitor and check blood pressure 3x a day. Can hardly get out of bed. The pain is unbearable , still no pain or medication. Can’t pick it up so I’m having it mailed. My wife is giving assistance, paid a guy to mow the lawn. Good that for now I don’t need the pacemaker.

  7. Linn says:

    Michael,
    God had shown up in some of the strangest and most difficult times of my life. I am praying that for you. As chipper as I can sound at times, I have those issues, too, where I wonder if God will ever answer. It can be hard, but I find hope in who He is. I’m not acquainted with anyone else who rose from the dead.

  8. Captain Kevin says:

    JD, hang in there. I get it. I wore a holter monitor a couple weeks ago, and as soon as my cardio got the results, he called right away to let me know that he was calling in a prescription because we need to lower my heart rate. This med is knocking me for a loop. Just made a list of 5 side effects I’m experiencing and I’m gonna call tomorrow to see if there’s something else we can try. Also did the treadmill last week and will go over results next week. Glad you don’t need the pacemaker.

  9. Captain Kevin says:

    “I am terribly sad and very tired.” Same, my friend, same.

  10. Michael says:

    JD,

    That’s harsh…praying for multiple kinds of relief…

  11. Michael says:

    CK,

    Today was hard…hoping tomorrow will be better…we have to hope.

  12. JD says:

    Was glad that the housekeeping lady and one of my nurses knew Jesus.

  13. Captain Kevin says:

    JD, that’s wonderful!

  14. Josh says:

    Thankful for Michael and this community. This is honesty, and the world in which I abide.
    “The reality also means I have to read my Bible differently…”

    I have found this too, and look forward to that article as well.

  15. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Thanks…it’s important to me that I both honor God and honor the hearts of people like you who have struggled with all this.

  16. Robin says:

    I understand every word you write and it matches my own experience and feelings. I also am very sorrowful and pessimistic about life and have accepted that this is part of our burden. Yet sometimes I have this strong resistance against it, I don’t know if it’s the “flesh” or if it’s the last bit of fight left in my soul. I want to experience the life I had known when I was younger, I want to hope not just for the next life but here. I feel that sometimes this outlook of suffering leads to bitterness that can’t be from God. People around me see a man who has given up in life while they continue and it pains me to be left behind, to prematurely age and wither away. And sometimes I feel that the slightest change brings back so much comfort and I realize how much I have suffered because of my own thoughts and the way out was not that far.

  17. Michael says:

    Robin,

    Thank you for the kind words and for sharing your own experiences.

    I know I sound quite dark, quite often…but I actually love being alive.

    I find joy where I can and it’s real joy, though many would find most things insignificant.

    My cats have always made me genuinely grateful to God for them…cold Mexican Coke and warm electric blankets , the smell of Douglas fir sap and the Chinese food just down the street…wonderful friends and my chosen family…all these things bring me joy that walks next to all the trials…

  18. Alex says:

    I’m behind in reading you, Michael. I am raising my granddaughter now, as you know, and sometimes it’s all I can do to keep up with the needs and energy of a 9 year old.

    I closed my eyes, listened to my breath, and meditated on this post of yours for a few minutes, to see where I’m at in what you say, and here’s what I can offer…

    I’ve never felt closer to God than I do now. And yet, who is this God who protects me from nothing and sustains me in everything?

    It’s true that the pain and loss of the one I birthed and loved the most has created a sadness in me that I doubt will ever go away. It is too deep. But I wonder, in some paradoxical way, if that’s also not a blessing.

    I remember my younger years, so confident and strong, so convinced about so many things and sure that I understood God and what God wanted of me – I could quote scripture to prove it all. My successful years convinced me secretly that I had God’s favor – I see now that in my young zeal, I was large and in charge – God and I were partners, transactional business cofounders of my life. I didn’t say that, but I now see that’s basically how I operated. I respected God but I wonder now if I loved God; I know that I did not know how to let God love me.

    Life has shown me things, and I’m nothing if not a good learner. I am teachable. Life is a great teacher. This disillusionment of these last wonderful awful terrible painful merciful years is not a bad thing…
    dis – illusion = giving up my illusions. I had many illusions about God, and even more about myself. It didn’t necessarily look like it from the outside, from what I said or did (ministry leaders and leaders/helpers of others know almost instinctively how to show the show) but on the inside…

    This pain I carry now is so immense, so consuming, so total, that I’m reduced to essentials, to primacy, to the one thing, the only thing, that I know to be true: Love.

    Love is true. I know that. Love was there throughout it all, in every tender touching moment in the long ordeal, and in every crisis horrific excruciating “I can’t bear this” episode.

    Though I sometimes felt, and feel, abandoned by God, I wonder if that isn’t just the lingering concepts I’ve been encultured and indoctrinated into about who and how God is? God did not answer my sweating-blood prayers; He did not. And I pulled out every single thing I thought I knew about healing to try to capture God’s attention. It all came to ashes.

    But in looking at it now, I can see that Love was there. Love didn’t disappear; in fact, it intensified. Love is what gave me the wherewithal to do what I did for years without total collapse and to keep going; I did it out of love. Love was there in the darkness with me as I cried out, and it clearly was Love that offered me the sweet moments with her even in the midst of them also being excruciating. And it is still Love which breaks my heart in sadness over and over with the loss, but I know that it hurts so badly because it was and is real Love.

    So, I may know little about this puzzling God of the Bible, and I may no longer believe nearly everything I’ve been taught about ‘what this passage means’ or ‘how to be a good Christian’, and ‘what God wants’ (ha, as if) etc… but I do know this. This most painful suffering that I’ve ever known, that some say is the greatest pain of all, is teaching me. It is taking away and it is clarifying.

    I know this…

    Jesus shows me God. He said so and I believe him.

    I know love.

    If God is love, then I know God.

    Love never fails. Never. Never.

    So I wonder, when all is distilled to its essence, if God hasn’t heard my prayers after all.

    That’s it. That’s the whole story.

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