Originally published Tuesday, 27 May 2014.
First, let me just say that I am not a runner. My feet and back protest and resist when I go faster than a brisk walk. However, I understand the analogy of running to many areas of life.
Right now, I feel like a runner who has finally arrived at the finish line. Though for me, rather than speeding up the last few strides and raising my arms in victory, I have arrived crawling on my hands and knees.
Homeschool for us this year has finally ended. It has been a long year. A hard year. I've wanted to give up many times. I've fallen over and over. I'm left exhausted and worn.
This was a transitional year for us and my children struggled. I struggled in how I responded. Too often I kept my eyes off of Christ and didn't seek refreshment from the Word. I ignored signs of burn out and failed to cry out for help.
Perhaps you are not a homeschooler but you are mom who is weary from motherhood. The day in and day out labor leaves you exhausted. It's harder than you expected. You feel inadequate and unprepared. You too can relate to the analogy between the exhaustion of running a race and the weariness of motherhood.
Scripture says that those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength (Is. 40:31). I need my strength renewed, don't you? One of the ways we can practically place our trust in the Lord and receive his mercy, grace, and strength, is through prayer.
If you are a mom who is weary, this prayer is for you:
Dear Father in Heaven,
I come before you weary and beat down by this long day. Being a mother can be so hard. I often feel helpless and inadequate. Part of me wants to complain, but then I remember the extent to which you were beat down and I’m struck quiet. I remember that you are the Man of Sorrows and that you understand just how hard life can be. I also remember that you collect all my tears and care about my troubles, trials, and fears.
The book of Hebrews tells me I can come to you in confidence and find the grace and mercy I need. And so I come to you now to lay all these burdens at your feet. I feel so overwhelmed by the details of life. It seems like I can never get ahead. Just when I clean up one mess, another one pops up somewhere else. Some days I wonder if I’m really cut out for motherhood.
I know I failed to glorify you today. I failed to love as you love me. I failed to extend the grace you’ve given me. Forgive me for striving in my own strength. Forgive me for not finding my complete satisfaction in you and seeking it elsewhere. Each of these failures reminds me of just how much I need a Savior. Today reminds me that I need Jesus more than I did yesterday and that tomorrow I will need him even more.
I’m so thankful that there is so much of you to give. You’re never tired or weary. Even while I sleep, you remain at work. Nothing happens outside your knowledge and will. You’re never stretched beyond what you can handle. And the well of your grace never runs dry.
Because of what Jesus did for me, I ask that you create in me a clean heart. Renew a refreshed spirit within me. Give me gospel strength to get through the day. Open my eyes so that I see your hand at work in the mess of my life. Be my constant in my fluctuating emotions. Keep the gospel ever before me and make it a reality in my daily life as a mother.
I pray that tomorrow you would be with me in all the muck and mire of motherhood. Help me to find my joy in you and not in my circumstances. May I remember that even when it feels otherwise, you are always with me, will never leave me, or forsake me. Tonight I’ll sleep in peace knowing that even when I lose my grip, you never let go of me. And I’ll open my eyes in the morning to find mercy, fresh and new, ready for the taking.
It’s because of Jesus and in Jesus’ name that I pray, Amen.