What do you do when you hit bottom? When your best efforts aren’t working?
It wasn’t long ago I found myself in a season like that. I was stuck. I was out of options. I didn’t know what to do next. I was down on myself and had lots of doubts. Not about God, but about me.
Then one morning, my wife, Robyn, said I’d been talking in my sleep the night before. My first reaction was a little bit of panic. I had no idea what I might have said.
She said it was only one word. It was loud and clear. And it didn’t sound like me.
Sounds a little freaky, huh?
She said I called out, “Abba!”
It’s an Aramaic word that means, “father.” Jesus used it in the garden right before He was arrested and crucified. Paul uses it in Galatians 4 where he says we’re God’s children and how the Holy Spirit prompts us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
Paul uses it again in Romans 8 where he says:
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Later in that chapter, Paul says:
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
I believe the Holy Spirit was crying out to the Father on my behalf and the Father listened and answered, because soon after that night, things began to change. I went from feeling hopeless to hopeful. Instead of feeling stuck, God was bringing new opportunities. He worked in some really cool ways.
I think it’s significant that along with two of the three uses of, “Abba”, suffering is involved. If you’re suffering today, then know that the same Spirit who was crying out for me is crying out for you. The Father is listening to the Spirit’s cries and to yours.
Don’t quit. Keep seeking Him. Keep crying out to Him. I know the waiting is painful, but it will be worth it.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)