Today’s Truth

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14 NIV).

Friend to Friend

Some of my sweetest childhood memories are found in my grandmother’s garden. She’d send me out with a basket and scissors to gather all the flowers I wanted. I’d breathe in the scent of dozens of hyacinths blooming at my feet. Together we’d pick carrots and home-grown corn for the best summer meals I’ve ever tasted.

At my house, I gathered shiny red berries from our strawberry patch. I learned to ride a two-wheeler by the lush bed of daffodils lining our sidewalk. Gardens meant family. Deliciousness. Beauty. Growing up. Gardens held love.

I wanted to create those same moments for my own family. For years I weeded and watered too many plantings to count. Yet my flowers failed to flourish. Potted vegetables yielded just a few bites of produce all season. When a fresh bloom raised my hopes, it vanished overnight in a hungry deer’s belly. I’ve downgraded my gardening efforts to weed control and a few pots of hardy annuals that even I can’t kill!

Perhaps you, too, know the struggle of working hard with nothing to show for it. You follow a stringent budget, but medical bills put you back in debt. After weeks of salads and workouts, the scale won’t budge. Counseling brings no lasting change to your marriage. Despite faithful love and guidance, your prodigal makes self-destructive choices. You feel deeply discouraged and ready to quit.

When we feel tempted to give up on ourselves, our goals, or the people in our life, God’s Word shows us we’re not alone.

  • Hannah despaired when year after year, she suffered the pain of infertility and abuse from her husband’s other wife who “provoked her till she wept and would not eat” (1 Samuel 1:7).
  • Moses grew frustrated as a leader when his people rebelled instead of trusting God for their needs. He prayed, “What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? …I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me” (Numbers 11:11,14).
  • After calling down a miraculous display of God’s power—and the death threats that followed—Elijah sat down and “prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors’” (1 Kings 19:4).
  • Hagar submitted to Abram and Sarai’s faithless plan to bear them a child. In the resulting family turmoil, she was sent into the desert with too little water to survive. God found her sobbing and waiting for her son to die (Genesis 21:16).
  • Mark chapter 5 describes a woman “who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.” A string of doctors took all she had, but “instead of getting better she grew worse.”

Throughout the Bible we see men and women who reached their breaking point. In our own struggles, how do we carry on? What will sustain our faith when no relief is in sight?

We first reject the lie that “God helps those who help themselves.” Instead, we put our trust in a merciful God who assures us,

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14).

God knows our limits. He’s fully aware of our fatigue and our pain. He sees past the brave face we wear to pretend we’re okay. God wants us to approach him with humble hearts that are “poor in spirit” and fully dependent on Him. (Matthew 5:3)

Next, we embrace our weakness as a gateway to God’s mighty action in our lives. It’s in our lack that we meet the Provider.

Sickness invites God’s comfort and healing. In our sin and shame, we find redemption through Christ.

When abandoned and alone, we’re embraced by the Father who loves us from “everlasting to everlasting.” (Psalm 103:17)

Confusion is met with perfect wisdom.

When enemies attack, our Deliverer saves.

At the moment we admit we have nothing left, we can find everything in Jesus.

Today, let’s set aside our attempts to be tough and self-sufficient. To pursue lesser loves that cannot satisfy. To shine up our image instead of letting God wash us clean. Let’s discover the grace that is more than enough for all we need.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, despite every effort, I’m stuck in my tracks. I’m exhausted and desperate for help. Step into my struggle today. Provide for my needs and protect me from harm. Display Your power in my life. Make Your name great as You do more than I could ask or imagine.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Where do you need breakthrough in your life today?

How is God calling you to trust and depend on Him in that situation?

More from the Girlfriends

Joanna is passionate to help you meet God intimately in prayer. Her latest book, 101 Prayers for Women, holds “Spirit-filled prayers to bless and encourage your heart.” This lovely hardcover book holds scriptures and prayers to put words to the hurts and fears, hopes and joys of your life and the women you love.

(As an Amazon Associate, Girlfriends in God earns A SMALL COMMISSION from qualifying purchases using this paid link.)

© 2022 by Joanna Teigen. All rights reserved.

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16 Responses to “At the Breaking Point”

  1. Sheila says:

    Morning Joanna
    I feel like I am at a breaking point and I’m stuck in this same place with nothing changing. I pray and pray. I get so discouraged that I almost want to give up and quit praying. It is draining me of everything. I tell myself each morning when you start to feel those feelings to speak out and say Jesus I need you. I do know God knows my pain and frustrations. I know I’m not alone and each morning as I read Girlfriends In God I know there is hope. I pray that God will step in my struggles today and lift me up.

    • Sheila, I’m sorry you’re going through this difficult time where it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m praying with you as you cry out to Jesus for help and hope. I know He is beside you in the darkness and He understands our suffering since He suffered in this world too. Lord God, please give Sheila reassurance of your love today. Give her strength to carry on. Provide what she needs by your powerful and generous hand. Thank you for her faith that turns her face toward you again and again. Amen.

  2. Bernadette says:

    Dear God, my family and I need our home.

    • Praying with you, Bernadette! Father God, I lift up my sister to you. We pray for the provision of settled rest in a home for her family. Please care for her, encourage her heart, and meet this need. Thank you for Bernadette’s faith in you as her loving provider. Amen.

  3. Carol says:

    Joanna, Thank you for this inspired writing!
    Just when we need to be reminded, Jesus is a Priest “in waiting” (Hebrews 7:24-25)for our prayerful requests.
    And to Sister Sheila: look up the lyrics to “I Speak Jesus”…”Your name is power, Your name is healing, Your name is life. Break every stronghold, Shine through the shadows, Burn like a fire…” This praise song has helped me to just remember, to lean in His power during prayer time; when things are so discouraging my own words just aren’t there.
    Blessings to all the GIG followers.

    • Carol–YES, what a beautiful and powerful song! God is so kind to receive our prayers and know our hearts and minds, even when it’s hard to put our pain into words. Thank you for your encouragement to those who need reassurance that God hears and responds to His daughters who cry out to Him. Blessings on you, friend!

  4. María says:

    Sheila, my heart hurst for you! I will be praying for you! Yesterday’s sermon was about our disappointments with God when we don’t feel he is listening nor seeing our pain. Perhaps it could give you comfort too. In Ruth 1:19 Naomi changed her name to Mara because she felt that God was not with her and made her life bitter. But in Ruth 2:19 God shows His mercy. David, in Psalm 13 starts in a place of desolation, but ends the psalm praising God! Perhaps meditate in Romans 8:37-39 and be silent with God. That will soothe your soul. Remember that you “can do all things through Christ which strengthen” you. 🙏🏼

  5. THANK YOU for this VERY COMFORTING devotion🙏💝🙏 I have sent it to my girlfriends💝 Have a BLESSED and BEAUTIFUL week!

    • Praise God–I’m so grateful you were encouraged! Thank you for your words of blessing and for standing with your friends in their struggles. I can only imagine how God uses you to lift them up.

  6. Good afternoon, Joanna,
    Please pray for my friend, Kelly Theilan, who is struggling with ovarian cancer, divorce and the pressures of raising a 13 yr old teenage son. Her cancer came back in full force and is spreading throughout her body. She is waiting for approval of the next clinical trial. My heart breaks for her. I pray for her everyday. I reminded her that God loves her and that He is with you during these struggles. Thank you for your great message. There are so many hurting and suffering at this time and I pray that God will touch their hearts and give them hope.

    • Patricia, thank you for the privilege of praying for your friend Kelly. Dear Father, you know the pain and stress that Kelly is enduring in this difficult time. She needs your strength to keep her going. She needs your comfort for the loss of her health, her marriage, and her confidence as a mother. Pour out your blessing in her life and give her constant assurance that you’re by her side. Let her know your love like never before. Amen!

  7. Diane says:

    God knows our limits. He’s fully aware of our fatigue and our pain. He sees past the brave face we wear to pretend we’re okay. God wants us to approach him with humble hearts that are “poor in spirit” and fully dependent on Him. (Matthew 5:3)

    This devotional expresses how I feel, I thank You Lord that You see me in my struggles with cervical cancer. Your my strength, peace, hope & my healer, in Jesus Name Amén 🙏🏼

    • Diane, I’m praying with you today for healing, for hope, and for His strength to fill you up so you can endure this battle with cancer. Thank you for encouraging my faith by the way you trust God in what you’re going through. God bless you, my sister!

  8. Tiffany says:

    Thank you, Joanna!

  9. Lisa says:

    Please pray for my daughter who was married to a woman.Her partner died a few months ago and she is grieving.She needs to come back to the faith she had and surrender her life to God.I am trying to be a comfort for her but sometimes it is very difficult.

    • Thank you for sharing, Lisa! Lord, we pray you will draw Lisa’s daughter close to yourself. Let her know Your love, truth, and the peace that comes from surrender to you. Show Lisa how to meet her daughter in the middle of this struggle. We pray you will mend what’s broken and do more than we can ask or imagine in her life. Amen.

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