I feel worthless.
The feeling rises and crests like an impending wave barreling towards the surface of my heart. And with each wave of worthlessness comes an intense weariness of soul, a near drowning.
The breakers seem to rise from nowhere. I can’t predict them, and that makes me mad. They’re not tied to whether my work or ministry is going well or faltering. They don’t seem to be related to whether or not folks approve of (or agree with) me. They just come. And break.
I wonder if I’m alone. Am I?
I don’t know enough of this language.
I’ll never know enough of this language.
I don’t know what I’m doing.
I have fewer skills than I thought I had.
I have fewer skills than they think I have.
I wonder when they’ll find out.
I haven’t accomplished what I came here to do.
I’ll never accomplish what I came here to do.
What did I come here to do?
This country doesn’t need me.
There are a lot of workers here already.
What can I do?
My passport country doesn’t need me.
There are a lot of workers there already.
I have nothing to offer.
I am worthless.
And the waves of worthlessness crash. And then I crash.
Do you know the feeling? I wonder how many of us know the feeling. I wonder how many of us have drowned in this feeling.
So now, I want to speak to the drowning ones, those gulping for air under the waves. To you, and to myself, I say “Remember your God who descends.”
“I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.
Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”
Allow these truths to wash over your soul:
God not only hears your prayer, He hears your voice. He hears you, not just some list of words strung together in the form of adoration or petition or whatever. He is near enough to hear your voice, and loving enough to care.
He descends. He bends down to listen, to hear you. He’s not a distant, aloof dad who requires his children to “speak up and for goodness sake enunciate.” He bends down to love you. This is your God.
He is not a God hidden away in a Holy Place, high on a hill. He is not sulking behind a giant curtain in a Temple, coldly demanding allegiance “or else.” He is a God who takes that Temple curtain, that holiness, and wraps it around His own flesh and blood and bones and joins you. And wonder of wonders, He wraps you up in His holiness, covering your worthlessness, calling you worthy.
Worthy of His affection.
Worthy of His love.
Even worthy of His dance.
So if you find yourself drowning in worthlessness, remember. Remember the King who descends. Remember the Father who sings. Remember that He loved you before you even accomplished breathing.
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
It is well with my soul.
More thoughts from the dark:
Demon & Divine
- Living Well Abroad: 4 Areas to Consider - March 6, 2017
- The Gift of Grief and the Thing I Heard in Portland - February 10, 2017
- In 2017, Get to Know Some Dead People - January 3, 2017
- A Christmas letter to parents, from a kid who doesn’t have any - December 2, 2016
- It’s Not All About War: Balancing our Kingdom Rhetoric - November 3, 2016