I have to admit, there have only been a handful of times over this past year where I have come to God hopeless, worn out, and on the brink. In two simple words: broken down. Monday was one of those days for me. Asher and I were on our way back home from Phoenix and we were on our first of two flights. We were both exhausted, fussy, and grouchy from a weekend visiting with the family.
During the flight (to Memphis) Asher did not want to play quietly nor did he want to play with his games. Basically, he did not want to be on the plane at all, and he let me know it constantly. Likewise, I was not being the gracious father. All I wanted to do was to have him remain quiet so that we would not disturb those around us. And with short little outbursts, I did my best to keep our noise to a minimum.
Asher and I were heading toward a meltdown and I knew it was going to happen on the second flight. I knew I could not handle our situation anymore. I also knew I did not have the patience to handle Asher and I could not take care of him on my own.
So, it was as the plane was on approach (for our landing) that I prayed to the Lord for help. It was a simple prayer asking the Lord to give me patience and help so that we would make it through the rest of our trip. For me, it was most definitely a prayer of desperation!
And there it was. As our second flight lifted off the ground I looked next to me and was overwhelmed by what I saw: Asher asleep. Now, before you dismiss this as a common occurrence, I will tell you that it is a rare moment when Asher sleeps on a vehicle. For me, it was an overwhelming relief that I cannot describe. It was more than Asher just lying there asleep. For that entire flight, it was my temporary place of refuge, where I could finally rest. It was my answered prayer.
And so, Psalm 142 comes to mind as I reflect on this moment from a few days ago:
I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.
Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, ‘You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.'”