I always feel really uncomfortable when people tell me I need to pray for a cause overseas. and its not because I don’t care.
it’s just that, when you have chronic anxiety, panic attacks and a fear of EVERYTHING its hard to pray. not to mention it inevitably doesn’t feel thoughtful when people want me to care about something other than my own daily struggles. which also feels selfish. which feels painful. which is too much to feel at one moment and then I go crazy.
the reality is that I have no problem believing that God can work in BIG things. sure he can work miracles. of course, he can build a well. he can save an orphan. those issues seem far away and distant. and therefore more likely to be on God’s mind.
but what I really need to know, is that God is with me when I can’t fit into my skinny jeans. when I fail an exam. when I can’t get out of bed because I’m afraid of what the mirror looks like. or what my GPA is. or who’s waiting for me in my classroom. where’s God then? sure he’s in the drought and the storm. those things are worth his time.
but am I worth his time?
how much does he actually care about the things that I need prayer for? not just things that are big and disastrous. because to me, my life is a disaster. its chaotic and terrifying. I somehow developed the belief that God only cares about big things because the little things didn’t seem to get his attention. he never changed them anyways.
its in moments like these that I begin to wonder why people follow God at all. if he only works overseas in desperation, and never in my desperation (which looks different for every person), what am I trying to please him for? and I developed a deep, deep conviction that God just didn’t like me very much.
maybe you’re like me when you think of God. you like him in general. but where is he when you’re scared? where is he when it hurts?
and of course the cry of every closet depressed Christian: “WHAT IF I’M THE ONE WHO IS IN DANGER? not just the people you visit on missions trips. not just the kids you see on Wednesday nights. but ME.” if God doesn’t think I’m important enough to pay attention to, why don’t the Christians wake up?
I can’t say I know where God is. I still cry because life is unfair to people. I still get lonely for lack of God.
but I can’t help but believing with all my heart that perhaps when I cry, Jesus is a little less lonely in the garden of Gethsemane. maybe the garden is in itself a church. perhaps we are all bound together inside of it. and I can’t imagine anything that would mean more to our savior than a few disciples who didn’t fall asleep.
so my prayer for those of you still struggling through the garden, don’t fall asleep. not because everything is going to be okay, because I can’t promise that. but I can promise that the garden of Gethsemane will never be empty. Jesus will always be there. and he cries too.