I know he feels like he’s stuck.
And honestly, he is.
There are No apparent options, only consequences of his actions, his choices. And the walls feel like they are closing in on him. And the mire of his existence seems to be getting deeper, and thicker like mud that is slowly hardening to cement.
And then, he will be stuck forever. That is the fear that is fast becoming the reality.
I am on the outside looking in, crying out that there is hope. There is a way to become unstuck.
I throw him a lifeline, and he refuses it. When he finally reaches for it, those who are designated to help are swallowed up in rules. The bureaucracy of this world majors on minutiae and turns him away. THEY TURN HIM AWAY. This young man then drops the lifeline that he had, finally, after years of sinking, reached for.
I search for other modes of loosening the fast-hardening cement, but find no answers. I despair and feel stuck with him.
I cry out to the God of Psalm 40, the God who rescues from the pit. And I wait.
We are waiting. Stuck, not knowing whether to move to the left or the right, for like quicksand, the earth seems to swallow us up deeper with each wrong choice made. Fear of making a wrong move brings on a paralysis of body, mind, and spirit.
Psalm 40 is my only solace along with the unwavering belief that this is not the end of the story. That the God of Psalm 40 will somehow show up and show us a way through and out.
He is the lifter of my head. He is my comfort. He is the One who can Deliver from the depths of despair.
But I know that there are some steps that this 21 year old must make alone, for parts of this process are for a journey of one. And the liquid poison which he turns to for solace in his despair only intensifies his cloudiness of mind and drains him of his will and ability to fight.
Praying that this man whose name means “God is my salvation” will do as the Psalmist does in the beginning of the Psalm and cry out to God, and that God will not delay. And that as I painfully watch the process, I will know when to speak and when to be silent, when to act with swift resolution and when to be still. I refuse to believe that he will be stuck forever. I absolutely refuse. I refuse and I fill my heart with the Truth that has been passed down through the ages. It is a prayer that so many have cried out for deliverance to the God who will deliver. And now, they are free.
With every ounce of my being I will cry out and seek a way out, and remind him that he is worth fighting for. That he is not abandoned, and that he must dig deep to fight. Praying that he will find the will to fight and the hope to see that there is a way out, for his life indeed is a gift. It is an amazing gift worth fighting for. His life was an incredible gift to me, an incredible life-changing gift.
I am his mother.
So here’s the thing. Being stuck cannot be the end of the story. It just cannot. For he was made to live and breathe and contribute. And I will cry out on his behalf until I see him free and on Solid Ground. I will pray that he find the will to cry out and believe that one day, like the Psalmist, my son will say with passion and conviction…
“1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
5 Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.”
Psalm 40, New International Version
Sometimes, the beautiful thing about hitting “rock bottom” is that it leads us to the Rock and ‘puts a new song in our mouth’. Prayers that that’s where rock bottoms leads…