And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.Romans 8:26-28
Take a minute and review the first 169 days of 2020. A lot has happened, and I mean a lot—a historic pandemic, the likes of which the world has not seen in 100 years—economic shutdown, personal lockdown, family quarantine, home school, work from home, and rituals lost. Just when it feels like it’s safe to get back into the water of life, a policeman in Minneapolis kneels on the neck of George Floyd until he is lifeless and the symptoms of a pervasive, festering racism in our nation break out–tears, mourning, protests, and violence.
Just because these things are happening, it doesn’t mean that the normal travails of life take time off—bills to pay, marriages to maintain, kids to corral, jobs to do, processes to pivot, and health to lose.
It’s no wonder you feel spent, frustrated, or even a little bit angry. You may be able to resonate with one of my father’s favorite laments, “I’m plumb numb.” I don’t know about you, but when I feel this way, it’s even hard for me to pray. I’m out of words.
That’s why I led with this consoling passage written by Paul the Apostle. Take a minute and read it again. You may find that in this moment when you feel poor in spirit, that you can echo the words of James Bryan Smith in his book The Magnificent Story:
The richest times of prayer for me are when I ask the Spirit what I should pray about and pray for. The Spirit searches my heart and beckons me to love what God loves. They are always good, beautiful, and true things. They are for things like love, joy, peace, kindness—the fruit of the Spirit—either for myself or others.
We can’t be sure what circumstances the rest of this year will bring, but there is one thing that we can count on. If we love God and entrust our lives to him, he will squeeze out his divine good in every one of them.