Jesus, I can’t keep living like this. I’m being eaten alive.
I hate everyone. I'm exhausted. I'm desperate!
I’m afraid I'll do something horrible. God… you have to help me!
Tears poured down my face as I sat on my bed that fourth summer in Haiti. Without much hope, I opened the One Year Bible in my lap. I only had a few minutes before one or all five kids would find me. I looked through the blur at the words on the page.
Sigh. I was hoping for some life-changing verses I’d never noticed before. Oh well.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Well, I DO want. I’m not doing too well here.
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”
Lie down? That sounds heavenly. In green pastures by still waters? Oh God, if only I could go there!
“ He restores my soul .”
“He restores my soul.”
I felt like I’d walked through the Sahara and was now invited into sparkling turquoise waters.
Are you serious God? You can do that? Don’t tease me!
One more time: “He restores my soul.”
The truth shook me to the core... My husband, friends, and family were powerless to perform the duties of my Savior — my Shepherd. I had placed impossible burdens on everyone around me. No wonder they'd failed to deliver.
Okay, Jesus. Be my Shepherd. Please, PLEASE restore my soul.Help me! I am such a mess!
As I prayed, I shifted my expectations off of the people around me, off of my demand for different circumstances, onto the shoulders of my Shepherd. I wept as I repented of my self-centeredness. I'd tried for months to prove to others the depths of my despair, but now I was released from that burden.
I was still on my bed, in a sweltering, cluttered room. Nothing had changed, but everything had changed. Spiritually I’d been plunged into those still, sparkling waters of restoration.
Half a moment later, there was a knock at the door. Someone needed me for something urgent, as always.
I wiped my wet cheeks, laid the Bible down, and walked toward the door. I knew this day would be full of tests and challenges. I knew my habits of resentment wouldn’t die easily.
But I'd been reminded that God was real. His love was real, His Word was powerful and true, and He was able to restore.
He'd heard my cries.
*Where are you today, friend? Are you looking to coffee, a shopping trip, more sensitivity from your husband, or an offer of help from your mom to restore you? As you battle irritation, crabbiness, or complete hopelessness today, turn to the tender Shepherd of your soul for restoration. Cry out to the One who leads the parched to still water!
For more encouragement, check out From Grouchy to Great: Finding Joy in the Journey of Motherhood. It's a daily devotional with discussion questions to encourage you as a mom. Grab a journal and study through it by yourself, or gather some girlfriends and study together!
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