Thoughts That Wrestle

It’s been a rough month for both of us with my husband’s ongoing health issues that never completely go away, extraneous related issues, so many medical appointments, house electrical and car problems, leaving us both feeling like we want to just run away… escaping it all to the proverbial vacation in the hills. I know you’ve been there, too.  But God… answered our needs with good friends who were glad to help, and a new medical internist team who really care.  And I found this poem and blog written during another difficult time in 2014 and 2015 that spoke to my heart, reminding me…

We all have doubts and questions in our hearts.  We all have fears and worries and thoughts with which we wrestle.  But so did the best of men and women who were close to the heart of God – like Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, David, Job, Esther, Mary, Peter, Paul, just to name a few… In fact, there’s a reason why I appreciate their life examples so much… it’s in the depth of their honesty.

Perhaps we deal with wondering or wandering thoughts, difficult and painful questions, tears with pleas, and heart-felt longings.  Maybe, truth be told, we’re upset and just a little angry at God for not answering our prayers.  Maybe we wonder why our faith seems weak in the face of a host of trials while others float along in life with hardly a problem.  Maybe we feel we’re not worthy of His love and His grace, or maybe we think we don’t need His help… that we can manage on our own, or maybe we think He really can’t understand what we’re facing.

Yet, we do know we truly can take all our problems to our Lord in prayer, though sometimes it seems like we just shouldn’t bother Him with all of life’s little seemingly insignificant issues.  Sometimes, our heart is so heavy we don’t even know how to put our thoughts into words in order to pray…  

I’ve been there.  I’ve wrestled.  I’ve wondered, wandered and worried. Yet, Jesus understands.  He knows what we face.  He cares.  He’s been there.  He faced life head on with trials and temptations, with love from friends, but also with rejection, mocking and scorn.  And He knew to whom He could turn – His heavenly Father.  

When I focus on what Jesus went through, how He suffered for each of us, then what have I to fear?  He knows… for He’s a friend like no other, just as the Apostle John wrote:  “Greater love has no one than this:  to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  (John 15:13 NIV)  

And being the Friend that He is, He welcomes our ponderings.  He exemplifies the bond of a friend who shares the burdens, doubts and fears of our heart.  He helps us understand the meaning within or behind life’s trials and wrestling thoughts.  He loves us deeply.  No matter what we’ve done or where we’ve been, or what questions keep us awake at night, we can go to Him.  He opens our eyes to His truth and words of wisdom when we come to Him in prayer.  And with a heart of love, He welcomes us into his arms of peace.  He truly cares about even the littlest things that we get so concerned about and fret over… for, as I Peter 5:7 reminds us, we are to “Cast all [our] anxiety on him because he cares for [us].”

This poem came out of my own doubts, questions, fears and frets, and my tendency to take the reins amidst the struggles of life… when I should be giving all these things over to God and rest in His peace.  May you, too, find peace in knowing that, though we all go through these issues, our Lord has his arms and ears and heart open, waiting for us to come to Him with all our concerns.  Because He cares… 

Thoughts That Wrestle

Linda A. Roorda

Within my heart are thoughts that wrestle…

Where is my faith? On what do I stand?

Help me now Lord to draw close to You

Help me to grow rooted in Your truth.

Why am I prone to wander away?

Why do I hold ever tight the reins?

Help me to know You guide me gently

As I rely on Your restoring word.

Your word is truth, reality to me

A firm foundation to strengthen my soul,

Lessons to heed when life falls apart

Knowledge to earn by traveling this road.

Should I utter my bitter complaints

To underscore the trial I face,

You offer hope when I’m in despair

As all my cares I release to You.

Despite my doubts You still rescue me

You draw me close on hearing my cries,

Your gentle words within my soul

Give voice to reason, a wisdom to gain.

You understand my human frailties

Though I can’t fathom you lived in two worlds,

Within your heart was sinless perfection

But in this life temptation You faced.

For You knew pain, rejection and jeers

And You were tempted, in hunger and thirst,

But better than we, You stared down the hand

Of evil’s grasp which held not Your will.

You cried with loss, and needed to rest

You shared a heart for those steeped in sin,

Your words gave life to the seeking crowds

As You fed their souls with unreserved love.

The great I Am, the giver of life

You bless all who come, whose hearts are seeking,

That we might know, the one holy God

The Word in flesh, the Light of the world.

For this our faith in your death alone

And resurrection from the tomb to life,

Cannot be swayed by earthly passions

When we take hold of your nail-pierced hands.

Grace and mercy bestowed on my heart

When faith is wrapped in your sacrifice

The reason you came among us to live

How great a gift I can never repay.

~~

Linda Roorda writes from her home in Spencer.