You know what this week has thrown at me and it's no surprise that I'm ready to call it a day. I'm tired and tearful and probably hormonal and at least I know that you're the one person who won't roll their eyes and put all this angst down to hormones; you invented them. You know what they can do to a person.
Lord, it's been a crap week. Not to put too fine a point on it. Sorry.
I haven't even got the energy to tell you all about it - but that's alright because you know already. You were there. You think I can handle it. You're probably right, I suppose - what choice do I have? But I'm going to need some help.
I came across this picture on the Internet. I love it. It's a beautiful picture of a sunrise and the caption is:
'In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus.'
It turns out that it's a quote from a traditional spiritual song that I don't know which was famously arranged by a lady called Alma Blackmon. The words are very simple, and beautiful and the refrain:
'You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus'.
That's about it.
There have been a handful of times in my life, Lord God, when I've run out of... well, everything. Energy, ideas, patience, peace of mind. This week is pretty much one of those times. Bad news has piled on top of bad news and anxiety and worry linked arms and barged their way back into my head where they set up camp and made themselves comfortable. Fear crept in quietly and ominously and now huddles with them round the camp fire and depression and defeat are waiting in the shadows for an invitation.
Give me Jesus.
Lord, give me Jesus when I rise, and before that, when I lie in bed and stab at the snooze button and try to stay asleep because it's easier being asleep than awake. Give me Jesus when I come downstairs and start to nag the children about eating breakfast, brushing hair, brushing teeth, getting dressed, finding bookbags and finding shoes.
Give me Jesus on the school run. Give me Jesus as I walk away into the grown-up bit of day which this week hasn't been a whole lot of fun. As I spend time with people I love, give me Jesus so that they can see Him, not me.
Give me Jesus as I collect the kids and make tea. Give me Jesus as I run baths and find pyjamas. Give me Jesus as I put them to bed and then do it all over again. And again.
Lord, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, just give me Jesus.
Lord, you can have all this world. I don't want it at the moment. It's a world full of broken marriages and pain and illness and hospitals and doctors and X rays and bad news and low self esteem and tears and waiting on hard chairs and lying awake at night not-knowing and filling the gaps with imagination that just loves to paint everything bleak and grim.
It's a world full of shadows that are so dark that sometimes it's hard to see you.
It's a world where you are visible in the huge extravagant beauty of the first poppy blooming in my garden and in the promise of the flowers on the tomato plants and in the baby radishes peeping potential above the soil. It's a world of purply-grey stormy skies and lashing rain then watery sunshine and subtle rainbows and the smell of wet dusty ground.
It's a world where those that have eyes to see and ears to hear can find you all everywhere - and all that's just lovely and great but right now it's not enough, Father God. I don't want to discern you in subtleties, I want to run actually, not figuratively, into your real, solid, faithful arms and feel the weight and strength of your embrace. To let my legs go as wobbly as they feel and let you pick me up effortlessly and hold me close like a little girl.
Daddy, I'm tired.
I don't want to be strong. I want to give up. I want to stay asleep.
I don't want to keep trying to communicate when I don't have words. I don't want to persevere with the goals you've set me, I want to sit down and not move. I don't want to make decisions and I don't want to explain bad things to small children and I just don't want to do any of it any more.
I don't want to run the race, I'm tired and I want to rest.
You can have all this world. Just give me Jesus.