May 1, 2019
Hope When You’re Hanging by a Thread
“For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective] …” Hebrews 4:12a (AMP)
I never should have done the math.
After all, what good does it do a desperate mama to tally her exhaustion?
Blame it on a mind numbed by years of inconsolable infants or on the sheer monotony of motherhood’s daily grind, but for whatever reason, on that starless night long ago, I tried to calculate the number of times I’d foregone a full night's sleep.
Without a doubt, our children are a gift. But each one had come wrapped in colic and wired with wails. And by the time our fourth-born arrived, I was weary beyond words.
We’d read parenting books and consulted doctors, established healthy habits and rhythmic routines, yet nothing changed the fact that our offspring resisted sleep like alley cats skirt puddles.
2,920 days. That’s how long it had been since I’d slept through the night. And once I’d quantified my lack, I wanted to cry along with the wee one in my arms.
Deep down, I knew that my discouragement wasn’t the result of sleepless nights alone. My body was exhausted, but my heart was depleted as well.
I'd been hanging by a thread for so long I couldn't even pray. I knew God was with me, but I couldn’t find the words to tell Him what I needed.
Perhaps you’ve been there, too — worn out and worn down, wordless and weary. Maybe you’re there right now. Sleep-deprived moms aren’t the only ones who know the ache of a sapped soul.
Anyone who is stretched thin or poured out, distressed or discouraged, is likely to taste its anguish too.
“God, I know You're here," I whispered into the dark. “But I don’t know what to say …”
That’s when I noticed the Bible within reach of the rocking chair where I sat. Careful not to jostle the baby on my lap, I grabbed God’s Word and flipped through the pages.
Eventually, my tired eyes fell on Hebrews 4:12a — "For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective] …"
As that verse sank deep, a hushed hope began to rise. Perhaps I was holding God’s answer to my weary cries.
My soul felt sapped, but God’s Word was alive and active.
My body felt weak, but God’s Word was full of power.
My mind felt fatigued, but God’s Word was energizing.
My efforts felt fruitless, but God’s Word was operative and effective.
So, 2,920 days after my last full night of sleep, I began a new midnight routine. When the house grew quiet and the baby whimpered loud, I opened my Bible and declared its timeless truth.
Sometimes I chose one verse and spoke it aloud until my sagging spirit echoed, “Yes!” Sometimes I proclaimed the promises of Jesus until my haggard heart was buoyed with hope. Sometimes I sang a psalm until my mind’s downcast rap was replaced by a refrain of praise.
I didn’t have the strength to reach out for my Savior, but I let the truth of His Word reach the depths of my weary soul. I didn’t have the energy to create powerful prayers, but I turned God’s Word into personal pleas. And slowly, surely, my desperation turned to peace. My circumstances hadn’t changed, but something within me had.
I was still stretched, but I was no longer sinking.
I was still poured out, but I was no longer empty.
I was still fatigued, but I was no longer frazzled.
One night as I sat in that rocking chair and murmured God’s Word above my baby's bellows, I realized this — I was no longer holding on to God's promises; God’s promises were holding on to me.
That’s the wonder of God’s Word, dear friends. It sustains us and supports us. It restores us and remakes us. And when we take hold of its truth, the Truth holds us, too.
Even when we’re hanging by a thread. Especially when we're hanging by a thread.
Dear Jesus, when I’m too tired to talk to You, show me how to let Your promises speak to me. Quiet my heart’s howl of discouragement with Your Word’s hymn of hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 119:25, “I am completely discouraged — I lie in the dust. Revive me by your Word.” (TLB)
Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord grants wisdom! His every word is a treasure of knowledge and understanding.” (TLB)
Whether you realize it or not, you make a BIG impact on those around you. When you respond with grace as your food order takes longer than planned. When you meet a friend in their time of heartache with words of hope. Proverbs 31 Ministries hopes we’ve made a big impact on you and wants to keep impacting others around the globe. Help us keep making an impact with our Each One, Reach One Campaign starting May 7.
For more encouragement and for a free printable to help you hold on to the Word when you’re hanging by a thread, visit Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Ask God to give you a Scripture to hold on to right now. Post it where you can see it. Speak it aloud. Pray it. Ask a friend to text it to you once a day. Let God’s promise hold you.
Which Scripture verse did you choose? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section!
© 2019 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.
Originally published Wednesday, 01 May 2019.