I just can’t. I’ve tried. I’ve given it my best. I don’t understand and I just can’t. You may find yourself hearing these sentences pour into you today. It may be that you are so missing a loved one that you do not know where to turn or what to do. There are no answers and there are no fixes. You have given it your all. It could be that you are hearing these words after another diagnosis or one more surgery. Some of us feel this way after struggling through difficult choices where nothing seems to go right. Some are feeling the defeat of a relationship that did not work out. And some may just feel that way because the news has been on for too many days. I just can’t.
There are many wonderful practices and ideas out there when you feel this way. I appreciate many of them. For instance, a gratitude practice is a wonderful way of helping us to shift our focus to what we have been given. It helps us to gain a new perspective of the joys in our lives. These seem to help me most at the end of the day. I don’t find them especially helpful in the moment. When I feel like I just can’t, gratitude doesn’t feel right to me.
How about we not do one more thing? How about we simply allow God to fill our lungs with air and breathe. Breathe in his goodness, even when we are in despair. Breathe in his love, even when we are starving for the love of the one we lost. Breathe in his peace when the world seems in chaos. Breathe in his presence to still our wearied souls. No answers needed. No practices to remember. No planning what is next. Just breathe. Feel God wash over you in a moment when you can’t take another step.
Psalm 3 is one of my personal favorites. When I just can’t, this Psalm reminds me: He is my shield. He lifts my head. He sustains. When I can’t, he can. When each moment is a challenge, he reminds me he has this moment and I can rest in him. There will be better days. But for today, maybe the answer is to simply breathe and let God take care of the rest. I am changed from I just can’t to…I just breathe.
1 O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying to me,
“There is no help for you in God.” Selah
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
4 I cry aloud to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Rise up, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Deliverance belongs to the Lord;
may your blessing be on your people! Selah
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery