I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature. ~Edvard Munch
Hear my cry, O God; Attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I call unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:1-3
Edward Munch has painted an image that has been valued worth millions, all because his artwork captures something that all of humanity can relate. But, recently this painting has so resonated with me and all that I can’t articulate so well, I have carried it around in my mind before God. Which sort of means I have been feeling like I am silently screaming at Him. Which is …um, well- sort of true.
I’m not sure exactly when this silent scream began. Or, maybe, when it returned is a better way to put it. Recently its pitch has been slowly rising within.
Was it when our medical bills pile was so high we realized we would never be unburied? Was it when we realized that no matter how hardworking one person was, one person’s decision could destroy five or ten years of loyalty, dedication and hard work in ten minutes time? Maybe it was when we sought support through the powers that be and found none. Perhaps it was when rejections increased, injustice prevailed and life turned upside down by our assessment that soul weariness crept in while we were still trying to catch our breath.
I stopped watching the news because it left me with an overwhelming desire to weep. I have repeatedly pulled back from Social Media when I have started to feel the news feeds bleeding me of my energy and focus. It is an ongoing battle to be in the world and not of the world, I assure you.
I find myself weary of believers and unbelievers equally at times. Always striving to hear that still, small voice within over all the other voices competing for my attention. No to mention my own whiny, bossy, selfish voice that clamours for more.
It’s during these times the enemy gloats. Moves in. Sets a trap. I’m not running on empty, but something else. It keeps me running, but it also will cause me to fall flat on my face.
By the time I recognize I have become Self-Reliant, I have usually already felt the snakebite of the enemy.
This is when I start weeping, whining and running… back to Him in a position of true submission. Jesus never withholds His love, grace, forgiveness or truth, but sometimes I get walking to the sound of my own drums and they drown out His voice completely. Part of this is my enthusiasm, and energy to do His will which is sincere but always the flesh seeks to usurp the work of Christ in me. It competes for the place of authority, shouts for my attention in creative and deceptive ways.
Guaranteed when this happens, there is a legion waiting to wreak havoc with me. But, bigger still, my Savior is and He never lets me out of his sight. Though I run ahead presuming His will, He gives more grace. Though I sometimes, say or do the wrong thing, get sidetracked, still He gives more grace.
I can’t escape His love…nor do I want to, for even in my darkest moments His light will not be completely extinguished.
I can never be unkept by this Christ who keeps me.
Though I feel the world around me crumbling…fear I might be buried by an avalanche of overwhelm. He goes with me, keeps me to the uttermost. Though I seek to escape the pain of my daily life…I cannot escape His everlasting arms.
Though I may be screaming from the inside, awaiting answers to problems that knot my insides up, seem unsurmountable…This Jesus weeps with me, cries with me…screams with me. Keeps holding me together while I’m screaming within. This is the God who will never let go.
Pray with me?
Lord, I praise you that you are the rock that is higher than I, my strong refuge in all seasons. Thank you that when I feel like quitting you comfort me, holding me together by the power of your grace, through faith in truth. Thank you that you love me with an everlasting love and nothing can take your light away from me. I ask you to calm me from within, hold me together and let me rely on your Spirit, not my own strength or any other power to carry out your good and perfect will. You alone are God. Amen.
The song “From The Inside Out” sung by Phillips, Craig and Dean is one of my favorite songs: “Your light will shine when all else fades…”