I posted this prayer on my personal Facebook page on Monday, but share it here for anyone who needs the courage to take a step out of the boat.
Dear God, I wanted to share a prayer publicly everyday and now I am struggling to do it. For one thing, it is against my introverted nature. I don’t like putting myself out there too much. It feels like I’ve fallen back into that old trap of worrying about what people think of me. I want to climb back into the safety of my shell. I’m also struggling to maintain optimism. Last night, as You know, I fell to sleep in tears.
I have never lost my hope but sometimes I feel down. I am sad about the people who are sick and about the people who are dying. It’s especially hard to hear about the death of a doctor or first responder. It makes me sad when I see friends who have to visit their elderly parents through a window. I worry about the economic impacts of this pandemic. And I get discouraged because so many people have been deceived and put their trust in people who put a positive spin on this.
Father, I listened to Pastor Andrew’s sermon with only half my attention Sunday morning, but something he said cut through to me. I had to listen to it again.
What’s the difference between a trip and a journey? A journey is long enough to have both ups and downs. We pack up our lives to look like a trip rather than a journey. Saving face. Speaking with impeccably polite language like you’re talking to your grandma when you’re at church but rage cursing when you are in traffic. (That was me, at least when I lived in Denver). Posting one life on social media like everything is okay but never sharing your real struggles with anyone important with you. (Ouch). It can be tempting to pretend like everything is okay. That we don’t feel the pains that are coming.
No matter what hits us, good or bad, we have the assurance that God is with us. Jesus, You didn’t promise to remove our daily trials. Our comfort is not in the absence of trials, it is in the presence of You. You are with us in the ups and downs.
God, I needed to hear that message. I pray for the courage to be authentic. To have the courage to take a step out of the boat and not be afraid to keep walking when the winds come. To put myself out there even if it is uncomfortable. To share both the good and the bad, my hope and my fears.