Monday, August 29, 2016

Brought To My Knees

Some of the toughest men and women can be brought to their knees through a dramatic or tragic change in their life circumstances. The sudden death of a spouse, divorce, or the death of a child are just some of the most severe and heart stopping situations that can cause the 'toughest of the tough' to crumble and weep like a child.

I recently viewed a program that highlighted a group of Jewish children who experienced and survived one of the most horrific events of our time, the Holocaust. Of course, these children are no longer children. Today they make up an elderly population of just under 200,000 in the country of Israel. Most, if not all of them, are living below the poverty line.

As a few of them shared their stories, I watched as the events of so long ago, became real to them again. They remembered watching their parents and siblings perish while they, somehow, survived. I believe it was to tell their stories, even though brutal, to the rest of us. That we would not only be educated on something that most of us wouldn't even give a second thought to, but also to know that it really did happen.

I couldn't deny that it happened as I watched people tell their stories, shaking and crying, some showing pictures of their families and describing how they died. One man cut off a third of a piece of bread to give a visual reference of what the daily bread ration was for the prisoners. I wept for them and wondered how often their circumstances brought them to their knees. Watching as they played old videos of the conditions of those camps during the program, made me realize that sheer physical weakness would have, easily, brought me to my knees. Not to mention the desperation to see those conditions end, whether by means of liberation or death.

In my own life, I have faced times when I didn't have strength to stand and be strong and came crashing to my knees. Sometimes I would kneel in silence, while other times I wept bitterly like a small child. For moments, at times hours, I would cry not understanding what had just happened in my life that, now, brought me to my knees. Heartbreak, loneliness, and frustration were just some of the things that made me crumble. They still do.

However, as a Christian, I have had a recourse in my life that brought comfort in the moments I didn't have the strength to stand up and face life. That recourse was and is prayer. During the year of 2011, I came into a very clear understanding that I was to be a woman of prayer. I took hold of that understanding and have been praying for myself and others even when I went through times of struggling to pray. I have even experienced times when I doubted the power of prayer.

Nevertheless, there was always something in me that kept me praying during those times of doubt and uncertainty. I think that the Jewish people in those concentration camps during the Holocaust would have prayed. Even those who had never prayed in their lives prior to their imprisonment. For me, there is something about prayer that brings peace and comfort. It has been life saving in a way and a source of hope when I felt hopeless. A way to mourn and grieve the things in my life that I didn't have the courage to share with another person.

Prayer has been my conduit to get beyond the pain and hurt and to reach the other side of a dark chasm that felt bottomless. It wasn't until I got through a time of desperation, on my knees in prayer, that I felt so lifted up. Prayer does matter and it is powerful. Even if you have never prayed before, it can make a difference in your life and someone else's.

What are the things that bring you to your knees? What gives you the strength to get back up and be stronger than before? I really want to hear from you. Let's talk! You can also private message me on Facebook to share in confidence.

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