Recently, I have received news of heartache and struggle in the lives of so many. I was in my kitchen, when I realized that for some time I had been sighing...deeply...over and over. It seemed to be all I could muster in my sadness. Then I remembered something I had read recently concerning that very thing. I want to share that with you.
"During the funeral, I realized that I couldn't stop sighing. I later read that sighing is one way we process grief. It is a physiological response to distress. I didn't know how to vent or verbalize what I was feeling, so I sighed.
It was during that time that I discovered what is now one of my favorite Psalms: 'Give ear to my word, O Lord, consider my sighing.' (Psalm 5:1)
That little phrase - 'consider my sighing' - became a source of strength for me. I didn't know how to pray or what to say, but I knew God was considering my sighing. Even when we can't put our frustration or anger or doubt or discouragement or grief into words, God hears and translates those low-frequency distress signals we call sighs.
Maybe prayer is much more than a combination of the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet into words? I love Ted Loder's perspective in Guerillas of Grace:
'How shall I pray?
Are tears prayers, Lord?
Can trembling hands be lifted to you,
or clenched fists
or the cold sweat that trickles down my back
or the cramps that knot my stomach?
Will you accept my prayers, Lord,
my real prayers,
rooted in the muck and mud and rock of my life,
and not just the pretty, cut-flower,
bouquet of words?
Will you accept me, Lord,
as I really am,
messed up mixture of glory and grime?'
Sometimes it feels like God isn't listening, but He considers every sigh. Not only that, He is interceding for us day and night. Scripture says that God makes prayers out of our wordless sighs and aching groans.
The Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. (Romans 8:26)
Here is an incredible thought: Long before you woke up this morning the Holy Spirit was interceding for you. And long after you go to bed tonight, the Holy Spirit will still be interceding for you. That ought to change the way we wake up and fall asleep..."
So, in light of all that is going on in the world, and in our individual lives, I just wanted to share the hope that I found in this. From now on, when my heart grows so heavy that all I can do is sigh; I will remember that there is One who considers my sighing, and does what I cannot. I am so grateful.