A Road That Leads Uphill Makes You Stronger
Doug Middleton of Senlac, Saskatchewan, Canada
I will lift up my eyes to the hills-from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. -Psalm 121:1-3
I was born into a loving and dedicated Community of Christ family. At a young age I decided to make my own path. After wandering into a lot of desolate places, my path brought me back to the church family of my birth. I was welcomed home and felt at home.
Over the years I developed confidence and used the gifts that God blessed me with to serve God and work for our church family; but I became overly confident and thought I could handle anything. This led to burnout as there were some problems that I just couldn’t fix. I lost my confidence, which led to a spiral of depression! I questioned, “Why did this happen to me?”
For a number of years I prayed to be back to my normal self. I came to the point of praying, “Lord, heal me or take me, because I cannot live like this.” I was sure my family would be better off without me.
About this time, a friend gave me a possible reason for the depression saying, “You can’t help somebody on a road you have never traveled.”
My prayer became “Lord, heal me into the man that you want me to be!” It continues to be a daily journey, but I am stronger than I was 10 years ago, and I have been able to help my family through some very devastating things-things that I wouldn’t ever have been able to help with before the depression!
My question is still “Why?” but also “Where are you leading me, God?”
I know I am in good hands when I trust God to lead me where God wants me. I realize that I don’t want to be the man I was, but I want to be the person that God wants me to become for this time in life. I try to live every day, asking “God, where will your spirit lead me today?”
Let your heart be broken for a world in need. -Bryan Jeffrey Leech, \xc2\xa9 1976 Fred Bock Music Company, Community of Christ Sings 353
Lament is an expression of our grief, sorrow, and sometimes confession to God amid the brokenness, injustice, and suffering of the human family. Lament is a major theme of the psalms and an invitation to “let our hearts be broken” as we humbly pray for awareness of right and restorative action. Spend time each day this month practicing the prayer of Lament.
Loving God, break my heart open to my own and others’ suffering because of injustice. Help me stay with what is real even when it is uncomfortable.
Forgiving God, grow in me an awareness of the ways that I consciously and unconsciously contribute to systems of violence, suffering, and injustice.
Healing God, open my eyes to invitations to relieve the physical and spiritual suffering of others.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.