When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.
–Thomas A. Edison
Sometimes you are too tired to go on. You’re too tired to fight the battle of sanity, of warding off the crazy-makers from your life and head and/or of the whole damned healing process.
Or maybe you’re too tired to wage the war at work – maybe it’s against customers or your coworkers or your boss, it doesn’t matter. You’re just too tired of the battle. And you see no end to it.
Or maybe you’ve cooked your last meal and washed the dishes for a bunch of ungrateful people, big or small, and you simply can’t do it again. Never again.
Remember that old saying – ‘when you’ve reached the end of your rope, hang on’? Well, I think that’s what many of our days are like. We reach the end of the rope and we have a choice. We can let go and give in to the madness or throw away the job or the family or whatever we think is making our life miserable.
Or, we can hold on for one more moment, one more hour or one more day.
At times like these we need perspective and we need grace. Perspective helps us to look through a different lens at our problems and our life. Grace, gifted to us by God, gives us the strength we need to continue the journey and allows for love to happen along the way.
God is full of possibilities; there is nothing He can’t do to help us.
Have you asked for His Help? If you have, it is on the way – but maybe not in the way you expect or want it, but it will come. If you haven’t, then why not? Why are you waiting?
We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on.
-Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
It is too easy to give up. To throw up our hands in frustration or anguish and say (whine, really) “It’s too hard. I don’t want to do this anymore.” But what if Jesus had given up in the Garden of Gethsemane and refused to get on the cross? What if the man who invented the small-pox vaccine had given up? Or what would happen if the police of any given town give up and give in to the criminal enterprises all around them?
It takes strength of character to continue in spite of the odds. It takes courage, it takes faith, and it takes hope. If the young child with cancer can find the strength to continue on in spite of the odds, then why can’t I? If the soldier who loses an arm or a leg in war finds the courage to go on, then why can’t I? Do I not have the strength of character? Do I not have faith? Do I not have hope?
Maybe I give up because I’m too self-involved. The people who go on despite terrible circumstances do so because they either have a personal goal they want to achieve or they do it for others. The police wage a daily battle with crime because of the ordinary citizen. Soldiers do it for their country. Scientists do it for the sick or maimed. When my focus is on others and not myself I can find the strength or courage or faith to battle onward.
But when my focus is on myself and my pain, my resolve is weakened and I wave the white flag of surrender. I give into the misery, to the depression, to the sorrow, to the pain. During the worst throes of depression the only thing that kept me going most days was knowing that as a pet-sitter there were dogs that needed walking and to be fed and cats that needed petting while their humans were out of town. When my attention was focused outside myself I was able to get out of bed. But when I didn’t have any pets outside my home to care for, I stayed in bed every minute of every day I could.
I need to remember that lesson – to keep the focus outside my head. I will admit it’s very hard to do that being someone who is inclined to live inside my head too much and prefers the company of cats over humans. But again, all God asks of me is to try. To try each day to be a better human being. To try each day to focus on others. To try each day to not be selfish, but selfless. And to try each day not to give into the madness, to the depths, to the dark wood. Each day He will give me the strength and courage and yes, even faith, to go on. To battle onward.