Feeling helpless is not something that I like.
I'm the oldest child in my family. And as the oldest child, I'm the one who is supposed to have it all under control. Normally I do fantastically well at having most of it under control, and the stuff that isn't under control doesn't really need to be, or I don't care enough about it or what other people think to keep it under my control umbrella. It's really funny this illusion of control that I have though.
It's just that, an illusion.
I've been learning very recently that the control I have on life is an illusion. And that hurts. I want to fall back into the silly idea that life is under my control; that the classes I'm taking are the ones I chose, and therefore all the homework piling on was my fault; that the church I go to was my choice, so the teaching I'm getting there is because of my choice or not; that the friends I make are my choice so if something goes wrong with my friends, I'm responsible or I can run away.
God seems to have whipped that carpet out from under my feet very quickly in the friends area of life, because very recently (within the last week) at least three of my friends have undergone some type of physical or emotional stress. One was in a car accident, and two dealt with rejections of different kinds which caused massive emotional stress. I felt like I had to deal with this suddenly all in one day. It was something I hadn't quite felt before, and felt a little overwhelmed with the massive amounts of prayers I felt like I was shooting to God. "God be with ____, they're hurting. Comfort them." "God show mercy to ____, give them peace." "God, I don't know what to do!" There were so many times where I wanted to do something physically, like bestow a hug, or give a back rub, but in the end, I had to end up saying, "I'll pray for you." Which seems like a lame-lame excuse sometimes.
Every time I said "I'll be praying for you," and then mentioned that I wished I could do more the recipient would say, "You're doing a lot already by simply praying for the situation."
Why do we think that conversing with the King of the universe about someone else's problem is a lame substitute for actually doing something?! Maybe because for me the results aren't as obvious. When I can see results right away it doesn't try my faith. Sitting and waiting and praying does try my faith, and it bugs the crap out of me. There you have it. I'm human! Welcome to the club. Or maybe I should ask to join, because I certainly don't realize sometimes until I hit a limit that I'm human.
In CS Lewis' "The Magician's Nephew" at one point when Diggory and Polly are going with Fledge, the winged horse, to the garden in the middle of the new world to pick a fruit from the middle of the garden and bring it back to protect Narnia from the White Witch, because it's a two day journey, they stop for the night about half way there. When they set about finding supper, they realize there's nothing packed. Diggory says something along the lines of, "Well, you'd think he'd [Aslan] would send dinner along," and Fledge in all his horsey wisdom, and through a mouthful of grass says, "I think He [Aslan] knew alright, but I kinda think He likes to be asked."
Maybe God, for the same reasons, and because it makes us rely on him more, has created prayer as the way to get things done. Because I can't heal hurting hearts, and the creator can, I am to help with that process simply by asking him to heal the hurt. It's frustrating, and yet, at the same time, I'm so glad I'm not in charge of fixing the world (even though I want to try). If I had to fix the world, I'd make such a mess of it, things would get worse, not better. So even when presented with something that I can definitely do, I will turn to prayer. After all, if I'm a child of the King, my Father's going to want to answer my prayers positively if it's good (in the long run) for all involved.
And now I'm going to stop rambling, because, well, I'm exhausted.