Faint and Weary Heart

Do we sometimes feel that God has abandoned us? That His plans for us have gone awry? In the following poem, I beleive God wants to speak His care for us and His desire to free us from despair. Read the scriptural passages given and note your feelings as to what Our Loving God and Father is saying to us in them.

My little one, know my love;
Troubled by lies and pretence,
I care for you my dove.

While you bow your head under the burdens,
You proclaim you are strong;
You struggle just to lift your head,
Trying to please the throng.

Your wings are caught in nets of deceit,
In the prowler's temptations you've been caught;
A net only I can deliver you from,
Trust in me, for you I fought.

Know my dove, the plans I have for you;
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
Plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer 29:11-14)

You soar for a while forgetting your legs are tied,
Sin has you in its mighty claws;
The world ropes you with flattering lies,
I can set you free, just call on me to provide. (Rev 21:4)

- Ehab Roufail, 1995

We need Him, our very being cries out to Him with every moan and groan of sorrow, despair and depression we experience. We've all experienced pain, trouble and anguish in this life, some more than others, yet we think this is what life's about I have to just keep living it. Others, whose nature and experiences have been less troubled and have so far experienced life as 'easy going', would still have to admit to themselves that there are times when theye are searching and yearning for more. More meaning and reason behind life, more joy and delight not just shallow experiences of happiness but profound sustained periods of Joy.

In fact times when this introvertedness seem to catch us are right after the climax of a particular delight or pleasure: The chocolate cake we've been eagerly awaiting and salivating about seems to fall short of our anticipation; the book we've been eagerly mulling over and consuming to the disregard of all around seems to, all to quickly, end having not fulfilled its promise to fulfill, but seemingly only to sustain; the friend we thought understood our inner workings and would be there in our time of need for comfort and support, turns out to be human after all;sexual pleasure is often made out to be 'the be all and end all of all delights ever imaginable' by our contemporary society, yet viewed as fulfillment in and of itself, this too would not stand the test of sustained, deep fulfillment, but fall short of the mark. That is what we are to expect after all in this world we're still battling with a fallen nature, a nature that has had its pleasures and delights distorted and twisted. Our memory too is fallen and we often get caught up in the same race for pleasure where previously it had been found to have fallen short.

Yet what are we to do? do we just give up? Obviously not, Our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished an awesome feat in His Incarnation, Life, Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and His indwelling in us by sending us His Holy Spirit. He allowed us to have the right to become 'Children of God', that is whom we are now! Yet Satan the big deceiver, lies to us trying to convince us that we're just dust, that after death there's no hope. It's only if we allow him to convince us that he can cause us to forget that privelage and live as if we were, pardon the term, 'tramps' rather than sons and daughters of the King of Kings. In Ephesians 2:6,7, the Word of God speaks the Truth of what we have become in Our Lord Jesus, 'And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him, in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.' Wow! God promises to shower us with riches unimaginable, with kindness incomparable, with love unbounded, surely this will be eternal, not temporal and full, profound and deep joy, not shallow hapiness. God can give us what we've been really crying out for.

Yet we must remember Satan the great serpent is out to deprive us of this by his greatest weapon, deceit, yet we have the Truth on our side, Jesus 'the Truth, the Way and the Life'. In John 10:10 we see this clearly, 'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.' Have it to the full, not always thinking there should be more, HAVE IT TO THE FULL.

Yet how can we receive what God has to give us? 'I can't touch Him or see Him or Hear Him.' No, truly you can, touch Him, see Him, hear Him and know Him as a loving, ever-present companion. This we read about in the Bible and in the lives of Holy men and women. How Moses the Prophet in Exodus 33, requests to see God and is granted God's presence and Glory with Him; how Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel, St. John the Beloved, St. Paul all saw the Glory of God.

In a book by H.H. Pope Shenouda III, entitled 'Being With God', the Pope enlightens us as to the understanding of our feelings and emotions in coming before God and experiencing His Love, Joy and Peace. He says, 'Companionship with God, is the Companionship of Love. It is not just a spiritual system or a spiritual timetable, of prayer, readings, meditation, meetings and prostrations, which you lay down for yourself, though all of these are of course fine and good in themselves. But you must ask yourself whether your devotions spring from love? Is there a yearning for God, and an intimacy with Him? is your relationship with God one of Love? Do you desire Him as a branch yearns for the sap of the vine to flow in its cells? Or are all your spiritual timetables formal ones, devoid of any affection?!'

As we draw nearer to the Lord, our true source of fulfillment and meaning, as we reach out For Him with devotions that spring from love, we should know that His presence will fill us, God our loving God can and will fill our emptiness. At times we will experience his touch of Grace, these experiences or feelings shouldn’t be sought after but we seek the One whom we love. His Holiness also says in the same book of these touches of Grace that: ‘During times of prayer and contemplation, a person feels God filling his heart, and feels that God is surrounding him, just as he feels that he is standing before God and that God is speaking to him.

St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in London is one of the oldest Coptic churches in the lands of the immigration, and one of the first to be supported and cared for by our beloved patriarch, HH the late Pope Shenouda III.

  • St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
    Allen Street, Kensington
    London W8 6UX