there's food on my face, too

Sometimes I look at Annie with food all over her face and crumbs in her hair with stains on her clothes and dirt on her feet and I wonder what it will be like when she grows up. Seeing her on so many countless occasions looking so silly, so childlike, so naive and I wonder will I ever be able to see her as an adult without remembering the blackberry stains on her chin? And I think it must be this way with God.

We pound our fists in the air telling Him this is the way things ought to be or this is what I need or don't you know, God, that I'm all grown up now, I get it now and I have all the answers. We stand there with our faces clean, makeup on, hair done. We have expensive clothes on our backs to make us look sophisticated. We're proud of our waistline or our marathon time or the number on our paycheck. We look up to the sky to make our demands while we hold an iPhone in our hand - proof of our knowledge and of our advancements. And don't you know that no matter how much we've forgotten, He still sees the blackberry stains on our chins and mud on our ankles. The umbilical cord still drying on our belly buttons and the frizz in our hair. 

Romans 8:26 says: the Spirit helps us in our weakness. we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with GROANS that words cannot express.

Often in dealing with my special needs brother, our family finds ourselves in moments of absolute confusion and hopelessness. It's not always a matter of knowing what's right and what's wrong and then having the strength to do the right. Sometimes, you just don't know which side is up. And often, too often, I process the situation and I dig deep into my brain for a solution. Steps to take. The right people to call. The right programs to sign my brother up for. The right method of discipline. Or discipline at all? Maybe just total grace. And usually I come up with a game plan and if God is lucky I set aside a few minutes to explain it to Him so that he can know how it's going to work and the role I'd like Him to play in it. Sounds silly, right? But isn't that how you operate, too? 

And I have to think that with my proposal all put together and my arguments stated, God must look down on me, and say, Child, you do not know what to pray for. And He is right. Because, I don't. But thankfully He tells me that He has put His Spirit inside of me to GROAN what WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS. My prayers are so often spoken from lips stained with berries and crumbs in my hair, but there is a groaning going on before my God on my behalf. And that speaks to me because I can remember times where I've been absolutely shattered by this world and by sin and confusion and I've cried so hard I've groaned. And to think that the Spirit of God is GROANING what words cannot say is like salve to my soul. And it says that the groaning happens while we wait for what we do not yet have - the redemption of our bodies, and our adoption as sons. SONS AND DAUGHTERS TO OUR ABBA, FATHER.

So anyway, what I'm really trying to say is that I'm glad that MY prayers aren't the only ones being uttered on behalf of me and my family. Because so often I either stand arrogantly before God with naive requests or fall sheepishly before Him not knowing at all where to start or what to pray for. I'm glad that Jesus Himself intercedes for us (Romans 8:34). Because who am I kidding? I may fool myself and look into the mirror sometimes and think I have it together. But I don't. Not even a little bit. I must look like such a foolish mess before Him. Thank goodness He came to clean it up.  

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