A Prayer of Anguish—Seeking Answers in a Sea of Questions

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God of the Universe, have mercy upon me. I am feeling overwhelmed by despair and anguish.

It seems the world is crumbling around me. Where is joy? Nothing makes any sense. I am questioning everything and finding no answers.

I just snapped at my wife for no good reason, ruining the evening in my own home—the one place where love and solace from the storms of life should always be found.

I’ve always been an easy going and relatively happy person. But, lately, the world is wearing me down. I can’t make sense of my surroundings.

I am questioning everything, even my very faith.

We have a president that is beyond belief and he has the backing of a third of our nation—that third inexplicably includes many who pray to you even as I am now. The man in the White House continues to spiral deeper and deeper into paranoia-fueled delusion. While the majority of the nation stands watching in bewilderment and horror, awaiting with dread what feels like his imminent and potentially catastrophic psychotic break, a minority that still includes many Christians—some of whom I have counted as good friends for many years…some of whom are family—hold on stubbornly in unwavering support. Try as I might, I can’t reconcile that in my own mind. Where did they go wrong or, God help me, where did I? Whatever the case, it wears upon me like the weight of the world.

I just read an article written by a pastor from my own denomination. In that article, he claimed that those poor folks who were slaughtered while worshiping you in that little Texas church had their prayers answered. Children as young as 14 months, a pregnant woman, 26 dead, more still clinging to life in hospitals. How, oh Lord, how can that be? Why do the words of that pastor fill my heart with rage? Should they—or is it me who needs to examine my heart—is it me that is wrong? The thought of him being wrong makes me sad—the thought of me being wrong makes me sick.

My profession, once a source of great personal pride, is also bearing down upon me. Teaching has become soul crushing work. Seeing so many students who come to me as teenagers whose lives are so filled with trauma. Some of their lives already so fraught with misery that school is the only normal thing they have—but they are so damaged and have fallen so far behind. They have no idea how to respond—they are frustrated that they are behind so they act out in self-destructive and counter-productive ways. I am then charged with “fixing” them. Then I am told that if they don’t learn it, then I didn’t teach it. God help me,  I spend so much time fixating on the problems of those children that I often neglect to spend the proper time and energy with my own daughter—or I snap at my wife for no good reason and ruin the evening in my own home…my sanctuary.

My burden grows heavy, I feel old and weary.

I am looking for answers, oh Lord, I can’t find them. Perhaps they aren’t mine to know.

But, Lord, if the answers aren’t within my grasp, I pray, let me rediscover joy. Let me rekindle that spark of life so that I can share it with others, my coworkers, my students, and most precious of all, my family.

 

 

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