Frustration penetrated my thoughts today as I brushed past harried metro riders shifting their Steven King novels, shoving through crowds of hungry, droopy eyed government workers as the dank metro snaked underneath my city. My mind kept casting back to memories laced with remorse over words left unsaid or caustic ones that slipped through. I tossed over ways I’ve fallen short. Where I’ll never measure up.
When each new day often feels like a repeat of each day before, I feel tempted to scream and run and (not impulsively of course) book a flight to Seattle. I’d find something way more exciting to do in Seattle.
Like walk around in the rain and drink coffee. Make tons of new friends. Pretend to be Meg Ryan and say hello to some man I barely know as I almost get hit by a truck in the middle of the road. Somewhere in Seattle. Maybe I’d even buy a boat. Then stroll around the docks each morning, taking in the peaceful calm of the morning, the beauty of the sun peaking above the horizon while dazzling pinks and purples swirl in a cotton candy sky. I’ll sink into my beach chair somewhere along the shore, blissfully contented the rest of my life.
Because my problems definitely wouldn’t follow me there.
Today I read a story about a woman named Hannah. She poured her heart out before the Lord. Every time she went up to be with the Lord, a woman kept insulting her, reminding her of all she didn’t have. This woman had huge dreams. Hopes and desires that year after year went unmet and unfilled. As I read it, I wondered at the pain she felt, and at the loneliness, as she watched a woman who walked beside her each day with all the children she longed for, how the knife twisted in her chest daily at the constant reminder of all she might never have.
But what I love about Hannah is she doesn’t ever give up praying and seeking the Lord about her pain. She doesn’t just offer a few prayers, she pours out her heart.
Hannah was frustrated. She dealt with frustration every day. Yet she surrendered her frustration to the Lord. God became the most precious treasure to her. Nothing else mattered, not even her reputation as she cried out wordlessly and the priest assumed she was drinking.
I love this about her. She just was so reckless. She refused to despair, she wept but she believed. She hurt but she hoped. Through all of the unknowns, she sought the Lord.
I know this seems so simple. And maybe it’s something you’ve heard so many times and you want to just scream because every day really is the same and nothing is changing and your heart can’t take any more of the ache. I won’t say I get it, because I don’t. Every pain is different. Every heartache settles differently. I can’t even begin to process the heartache some people face each day and I’m humbled at how I complain over trivial things when some are suffering and fighting to survive each day.
Hannah knew the secret through the pain though and I hope you cling to that today. There is hope here in your suffering and that hope is found in Christ. I keep finding that no matter what outlet I choose to try to find release from my frustration, He is the only one that really renews and restores.
He will give you hope and renew your soul. Maybe we all just need to be brave enough like Hannah. Maybe God is bringing you to this point of suffering because, like me, you’ve gotten so busy in your life and this was the only way He could slow you down enough. Maybe you realize here….that He is enough. That in the pouring and weeping and surrendering….and believing, you can truly find hope again.
1 Samuel 1:10-11 “She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.'” v. 15 “But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.” ❤