How many times have you heard a church leader say, from the pulpit, “I’m really struggling?”
It seems that Christian leaders feel they cannot ‘let the side down’. They need to be strong and not show any weakness. They tell themselves there are good ‘rational reasons’ for such thinking!
The truth, however, from the point of view of scripture, is that as leaders, we are still part of ‘the body’ and the body of Christ builds itself up from that which ‘every joint supplies’. In other words, we all need each other – to support each other in our growing relationship with God.
In Psalm 6, David is completely honest in his prayer. It is, of course, addressed to God but he holds nothing back. “I’m worn out, I’m completely exhausted, rescue me from death, I can’t sleep because my enemies are driving me to tears.”
David was a ‘battle-hardened’ leader but he still felt the pressure of opposition from people around him and the overwhelming impact of loneliness. In such a situation he honestly faced his feeling and turned to God for help, but he is also worried that God might have abandoned him!
David’s honesty before God is an encouragement for all of us to cry out to God. The psalm ends with confidence “The Lord hears my weeping; he listens to my cry for help and will answer my prayer.”
This psalm is also a challenge, to those of us who are leaders to, be honest and receive help from the body of Christ and not just hide our feelings and suffer alone.
Lord, don’t be angry and rebuke me!
Don’t punish me in your anger!
2 I am worn out, O Lord; have pity on me!
Give me strength; I am completely exhausted
3 and my whole being is deeply troubled.
How long, O Lord, will you wait to help me?
8 Keep away from me, you evil people!
The Lord hears my weeping;
9 he listens to my cry for help
and will answer my prayer.
10 My enemies will know the bitter shame of defeat;
in sudden confusion they will be driven away.
Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society
Lord, I feel completely exhausted and you seem so far away.
How long will it be before you intervene? Please don’t leave it so long that I am dead or have run away. I’m not sure how much longer I can hang on!
I’m not sleeping and I just can’t cope with any more pressure or accusations. I’m already working flat out, but there never seems to be enough time to get things done.
I need some space from people but I don’t know how to find it.
Thank you that see my tears, you hear my cry for help and you will answer my prayer.
Lord, you don’t want me to be ‘on my own’ in what is going on. Please help me find a friend I can trust and who will help me trust you.