Sometimes our spiritual distress is centered on questions about God. Where is God? Why doesn't God help? At other times our spiritual distress is centered on questions about ourselves. What is wrong with me? How come I'm still struggling this much?
Doubts about ourselves can be profoundly troubling. We wonder if our faith will survive the struggle. We wonder if our faith is strong enough. Often we feel like spiritual failures. The kind of spirituality we have been taught does not envision 'good' Christians as people who wrestle with their thoughts and are sad everyday. We think of 'good' Christians as people who trust God and manage to smile in the midst of any circumstances. When we can't manage to do this, we question and criticize ourselves.
But wrestling with our thoughts and experiencing sorrow day after day is often a part of the recovery process. It is not a sign of failure to engage in this hard work. It is a sign of courage. And it is a sign that our faith is alive and struggling. People of real faith struggle in life. People of real faith are people who wrestle with thoughts and who feel sorrow in their heart.
Lord, I get so tired of thought-wrestling.
And I am so weary of heart-sorrow.
How long, Lord?
How long does this wrestling and sorrow go on?
Help me, Lord, not to experience this struggle as spiritual failure.
Help me to see this hard work as drawing me closer to you.
Remind me today that you are with me in all of this.
Remind me today that you understand.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery