My best friend and I will often send a text to the other that simply says “It’s a pajama pants kind of day: so step away from the M&M’s and no one will get hurt” It’s our silent signal that we need to send up an extra prayer because one of us is losing grip on the end of the rope. I have a drawer full of pajama pants. But on days when all seems lost, just any pair won’t do. You’ve heard some women talk about having “Fat Day” clothes? I have “Paula’s had enough Day” clothes.
The outfit is a pair of pink Dallas Cowboy panama pants. I’ve worn and washed them so many time that the legs have shrunk and no longer reach my ankles. They’re worn and faded and probably the most comfortable thing I own. Mike has a long sleeved t-shirt that is the same color blue as the stars on my pants. It’s 3 sizes to big, hangs a good six inches below my finger tips and the bottom hem reaches my knees. But I push up the sleeves and wear it anyway. In the Winter I add a pair of pink fuzzy house slippers.
So here I sit. My comfort clothes on, my back propped with three pillows, and my legs stretched out in front of me. The dog’s head is resting against my shin, there are M&M’s within arm’s reach, and there’s a Texas Rangers baseball game on the television. Life should be good right? Then why do I still feel like digging a hole and crawling into it?
Tonight, I simply hurt. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have been on the verge of tears all day long and several times have allowed them to fall. I feel drained, washed out and overwhelmed. I don’t understand God’s plan, His timing or His reasons in so many incidents that have occurred this week. I know He’s in control, but it seems that everywhere I look people that I love are heartbroken, in trouble or have simply given up. The prayer chain seems to have exploded with requests, many are just gut wrenching. I almost want to hide from my laptop; but since the e-mails are delivered to my phone as well….I’d have to run from both of them.
But Father, I don’t know know what to say to the young man whose Dad was recently diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know how to comfort the teenaged girl whose mother just died when she didn’t get to say goodbye. Can I reassure the husband whose wife walked out on him after twenty nine years of marriage? I need an explanation for the seriously ill woman who simply wants to go home, and you’re obviously not ready for her yet.
Then in the midst of all the chaos one thought emerged from my heart: “cling to the rock”. The Psalmist David knew how important a rock could be, especially in times of trouble. I believe that’s why he called the Lord “My rock and my salvation” (Psalm 62:6) and “my strength and my refuge”. (vs 7)
Several years ago I heard a story about a 16 year old galley boy who survived the sinking of a ship along the coast of England. He was tossed up onto the shoreline, and kept from drowning in the storm by clinging to a rock all night. The next morning his rescuers asked him “Didn’t you shake as you were hanging onto that rock in those violent waves?” I don’t think I’ll ever forget his answer: “Of course I did. But the rock never shook once!”
Father God, when I begin to feel like that young boy all alone and clinging to the rock in the storms of life: please help me to recall the words of Psalm 61:2:
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I