“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me…” (Psalm 40:1)
The tension of waiting for the Lord is a difficult thing. Like a taut rope I hang in the balance of patience, not knowing what the end of the rope might look like. I want to be a good steward, a good example for others around me but the rope is an uncomfortable home. Winds come and invade my balance as I feel my faith wavering. To look below is a temptation too hard to refuse. My eyes peer over the rope and I see my greatest fears stewing in a pool of great pain. I feel the draw towards it and my attention gets lost in the eyes of my enemy.
I start to lose my balance and panic as I realize the danger of what I have done. To keep my focus in the tension is of upmost importance and look at the mistake I made! Tears streaming down my face I start to scream,
“I don’t want to fall!”
My voice echoed in the darkness as the fear bubbles over creating a stench that filled my nostrils. At this point I am hanging on to the rope with as much strength as I will myself to have. Everything done on my own.
“… and He turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).
I hear a great voice, “I’m with you.” I look up and see my Savior. Eyes like fire and a smile shining with an incomparable brilliance. He reaches down for me and I grab His hand. I feel His strength pull me up and balance me again. He faces me and leads me along the rope hand in hand and eyes locked together.
Oftentimes we are met with situations that cause great tension. Religion calls us to act in our own strength of completing Christian checklists. To keep up appearances for the ones around us. Don’t let them in. You can do this on your own and you’re weak if you ask for help. We twist the meaning of being brave to avoid being vulnerable. To be stoic is to be numb.
I remember when I was going through physical therapy after my hip replacements my therapist told me to let her know when I had reached my limit. She said she could normally tell by the facial expression of other patients but I was hard to read. My immediate response was, “I earned that right.” I thought that it was honorable to hide my pain and to manipulate my face to show only strength and determination. It was, in fact, easier to be alone.
What I have found though is that there is greater breakthrough when you let people in to your process. The price I pay for authentic connection is the risk of a gaping wound when it is removed. However, it is my natural design to link arms with those around me and push forward in my life. So although it may be easier to bury inside myself I have made the commitment to never stop making the beautiful sacrifice of authenticity.
As I walk the line of the tension I am able to feel the strength of the One ahead of me and the love of the community behind me. What a divine place to be.