"Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah" Psalm 61:1-4 (ESV)
I'm tired, Lord. How many of us have begun a prayer with those words? My guess would be that, at some point in time, most of us have. It is simple and it is honest. Let's face it, life isn't so much fun some days. Just standing up from the bed or couch can feel like a marathon for those with physical maladies. For those in the workplace, we all know that the stress can be grueling. The day in and day out of going through the same motions can be exhausting. No wonder we come home and flop down in front of the television. It gives us a chance to get our minds on something else, if only temporarily. At bedtime, we count the hours we can sleep before repeating the same routine again.
I chose today's verse because it expresses our need for a place to run to and find shelter when life gets hard. Of course, we know Jesus is always with us but it can be hard to remember that when we are struggling and feel alone. We all need a secure place to feel protected and loved and there is no place better than in the arms of our Father.
There is a song that I love to listen to when I feel that I just can't go on. Sung by Josh Groban, "You Raise Me Up" helps me to picture Jesus' hands coming down from Heaven to scoop me up and hold me close. His strength is all that gets me through each day of my life. He is our source for strength, for hope, for safety and for rest. In Him we find understanding and direction.
Do you sing to the Lord? There are so many wonderful hymns that many of us know by heart. "Take My Hand, Precious Lord", "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and "Leaning On the Everlasting Arms" are just a few but there are many others, including multiple contemporary songs that we can sing to Him while He is carrying us through difficulties. Music is a gift that we can use to praise our Lord that will also buoy our hearts and remind us that there is Someone who knows everything we go through and loves us far beyond our physical, mental or emotional capabilities.
When we feel so tired that we seriously wonder how much longer we can continue, when our souls are downcast and feeling abandoned, when we feel as though there is no help available, He is there. His arms are always open and His shoulder is ready if you need to shed a few tears. He has enough strength to help each and every one of us and have plenty left over. There is never a time when He cannot see or hear what we are going through and His presence is always accessible.
We do not have to carry life's burdens alone. Lay them at the foot of the cross and ask our risen Savior to assist you through your day. May you find rest and peace in whatever struggle you have before you. God bless!