Distant runners are aware of a wall that they hit somewhere between mile 20 and the finish line. The wall is felling that I have gone as far as I can go; I have nothing left; I am done; I am exhausted; I cannot take it anymore. Runners are aware of the wall. They learn to ignore those messages and press through to finish the race.
Peter Scazzero, author of “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” writes, “Regardless of how we get there, every follower of Jesus at some point will confront the Wall.”
The following is from Scazzero’s book. You can go to his website at www.emotionallyhealthy.org.
Most walls come in the form of a crisis.
Divorce, job loss, death of a close friend or family member, cancer diagnosis, a negative church experience, a betrayal, a shattered dream, a wayward child, an inability to get pregnant, a deep desire to marry, a dryness or loss of joy in our relationship to God.
At the Wall, faith does not appear to “work” like it did in the past. You have more questions than answers. You question yourself, God, and the church. You wonder where God is, what is He doing, where is He going, how is He getting you there, and when will this be over?
Walls are not one time events. Abraham hit a few Walls. God told Abraham to leave his home at age 75 and live as a stranger in a foreign land. He was childless. After waiting 25 years for a child God tells him to offer Isaac u as a sacrifice.
Church fathers called Walls “the dark night of the soul”. The door of heaven feels shut as you pray. The good feelings of God’s presence are gone. Darkness, helplessness, weariness, sense of failure or defeat, barrenness, emptiness, dryness come on you. The Christian disciplines of prayer, worship, and reading the word “no longer work”.
How do you get through the Wall?
- by the grace and timing of God
- on our hands and knees
- through deep introspection
- by releasing the trappings of this world
- with prayer and help from others
- with determined faith
- by not giving up hope or giving in to temptation
- by not losing sight of God