Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Friday, January 20, 2012

~ Read Job 17-18 Text, Audio

Lord God,

There are so many people in the world today who feel like, Job. That is to say, there are so many people who feel like their spirit is broken and their life is nearing an end. Sometimes I feel that way, though I recognize my troubles are not as severe than those that many face. Nevertheless, they still cause a great deal of anxiety, fear, and stress in my life, and I need your help to overcome that.

I need you, gracious God, to comfort my soul. I need you to hear my plea. I need you to give me the support you promise to give, and relive the heaviness in my heart before it crushes me. Stand up, Lord, and defend me. Rescue me and save me, for there is no one else who can or will.

Even the words of those who are close to me fail to bring me comfort. They compare my troubles to their own and think I am being petty. They wonder what I complain about, because they think, I have it so easy. All the while, they fail to see the burden I carry around and the strain it puts on me.

Save me Lord, because no one else can. Send me some support, before it is too late. Give me some encouragement, just as I try to encourage others; for I know that my own struggles do not relieve me of my obligation to serve. I know that the troubles I face do not erase my responsibility to direct others toward your redemption, forgiveness, and grace through Jesus Christ. On the contrary, my own troubles uniquely equip me to minister to them. My struggles help me to understand what others are going through so that I can serve them with more mercy and compassion, just as Christ did for us.

He understands all that we go through because he became one of us, and endured the same temptations, trails, troubles, and pain that we experience in our lives. He knows everything we go through because he went through it himself. And though I cannot say I've experienced every trouble in the way Christ has experienced all our troubles; I know my own struggles make me more like him in that I am better able to sympathize with others. Strangely, Lord, when I see my troubles in that way, they seem to be less of a burden and more of a blessing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for more adversity in my life, but I do thank you for that which I do face, because of how it changes me, and draws me closer to you.

In the name of your Son, Jesus, I pray, Amen