Do you ever feel like you’re trying so hard but still God is just out of reach? Something feels broken. Like you just can’t get there, no matter how hard you try?
I know I’ve been there.
On my son’s Make-A-Wish trip, we got off the airplane and into an ambulance. Standing at his hospital window, I felt this pain deep in my soul. God was like the cool kid and no matter how hard I tried or what I did, I just didn’t feel accepted. In fact, I felt rejected.
It was frustrating. I didn’t know how I could try any harder. What else I could do.
As it turns out, that feeling is more common than I realized at the time.
When it comes to God, so often we think we just need to try harder. Work more or better in order to get to the spiritual place we want to be, wherever that is.
The opposite is actually true
When our effort just doesn’t seem to be enough, and we don’t know spiritually how we could try any harder, give any more, the key is to hand ourselves over to God. Let Him fix whatever is broken.
This realization came to me when I was flying a kite, of all things.
One Easter, my kids got kites. I was nostalgic, remembering Easters from my own childhood when we would take our brand new kites to the school playground and fly them in the wide open spaces.
But my boys were not as excited about the kites as I was. They went to the school playground and left their kites behind.
Okay, so I’d fly the kites myself.
I grabbed one and headed for the playground where I carefully opened the package and tied on the string. There was a nice breeze, and I ran a little trying to get the kite to catch wind.
But it flapped around on the ground like a fish out of water.
I pulled the kite in close and discovered I’d tied the string on the wrong side. Regretting my diligent knot-tying of a moment ago, I forced myself to be patient as I carefully untied each knot. Then I tied the string on the correct side and was ready to fly again.
I held the kite out behind me and let it go as I ran into the wind. Again, the kite bopped along the ground, never catching air.
At this point, my 12-year-old son and his friend took pity on me and came over to see if they could help. With great teamwork, one of us tossed the kite in the air while the other ran holding the string.
They ran faster than me, and for a minute I thought they were going to get the kite off the ground. But still the kite couldn’t catch wind.
No matter how hard we ran, the kite simply wouldn’t fly.
There was something broken that needed to be fixed.
Luckily, my son has a knack for figuring out how things work. On closer examination, he discovered some of the kite’s rods had jiggled loose.
He shoved everything back into place and handed the kite back to me. Then he and his friend headed back to the house.
I had to admit I was starting to feel a little hopeless at this point. We’d worked so hard, and still things weren’t going right. I couldn’t get this kite to fly.
With one last, stubborn attempt, I tossed the kite in the air and took off jogging. To my surprise, it instantly caught wind. It went higher and higher with little to no effort on my behalf.
I shouted to my son and his friend, who were already half way back to the house, and I could see their smiles as the kite finally soared.
Our spiritual lives can be like that.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we work, we just can’t get our spiritual life off the ground.
When we feel like we’ve tried and tried and just can’t seem to get anywhere, what we need isn’t to work harder.
It’s to be open to God healing us, fixing those broken spots that have jiggled loose as we were bumped and bruised along this earth.
When something feels broken, let God fix it.
Here’s a prayer you can say:
God, I open myself up to your healing touch. Please heal what is broken within me so I can soar with you and your Holy Spirit. Amen.
With God’s help, you will be healed. Like the kite on that Easter morning, God will put together the pieces, so you can spiritually soar with Him.