Just last night I was asking myself, why does it have to be this way? I look at family and friends who struggle with so many issues and dilemma’s and I truly ache in my heart and soul for them. It breaks my heart when I see people suffer and search for answers, when the answers are right before them. I read the following first thing this morning and it is worth sharing.
TRANSFORMATION, PRAYERJohn Killinger tells a powerful story about a man who is all alone in a hotel room in Canada. The man is in a state of deep depression. He is so depressed that he can’t even bring himself to go downstairs to the restaurant to eat.
He is a powerful man — the chairman of a large shipping company — but at this moment, he is absolutely overwhelmed by the pressures and demands of life — and he lies there on a lonely hotel bed far from home, wallowing in self-pity.
All his life, he has been fastidious, worrying about everything, anxious and fretful, always fussing and stewing over every detail. Now, at mid-life, his anxiety has gotten the best of him, even to the extent that it is difficult for him to sleep and to eat.
He worries and broods and agonizes about everything: his business, his investments, his decisions, his family, his health, even his dogs. Then, on this day in this Canadian hotel, he craters. He hits bottom. Filled with anxiety, completely immobilized, paralyzed by his emotional despair, unable to leave his room, lying on his bed, he moans out loud: “Life isn’t worth living this way; I wish I were dead!”
Then, he wonders what God would think if He heard him talking this way. Speaking aloud again he says, “God, it’s a joke, isn’t it? Life is nothing but a joke.” Suddenly, it occurs to the man this is the first time he’s talked to God since he was a little boy. He is silent for a moment, then he begins to pray. He describes it like this: “I just talked out loud about what a mess my life was in, how tired I was, and how much I wanted things to be different in my life. You know what happened next? A voice!! I heard a voice say, “It doesn’t have to be that way!” That’s all.”
He went home and talked to his wife about what happened. He talked to his brother, who is a minister, and asked him: “Do you think it was God speaking to me?” The brother said, “Of course, because that is the message of God to you and everyone of us. That’s the message of the Bible. That’s why Jesus Christ came into the world to save us, to deliver us, to free us, to change us and to show us ‘It doesn’t have to be that way.’” A few days later, the man called his brother and said, “You were right. It has really happened. I’ve done it. I’ve had a rebirth. I’m a new man. Christ has turned it around for me.”
The man still is prone to anxiety. He still has to work hard. But now, he has a source of strength. During the week, he often leaves work and goes to the church near his office. He sits there and prays. He says, “It clears my head. It reminds me of who I am and whose I am. Each time as I sit there in the sanctuary, I think back to the day in a hotel room in Canada and how depressed and lonely and lost I felt, and I hear God’s voice saying, ‘It doesn’t have to be that way.’” (eSermons.com newsletter, 6-20-04)