The other day Joel sounded a little down when I answered his call. Briefly he explained how he had been moved for the second time in two weeks to a different cube. The “cubes” or rooms are about 9 ft square and house two to three inmates in double or triple bunk beds. The walls of these rooms only go up about 7 feet, so a couple feet of open space remain between the walls and the ceilings. If a person is on a triple bunk bed, he is above the level of the wall to his “room”.  Inmates can be moved from cube to cube for any number of reasons, not to mention the random whims of whoever is in charge.  The three man cubes are understandably more cramped, so a two man cube is a coveted luxury. Joel seems to have been moved quite a bit through out the course of the last couple years. You might think it something he would get used to. Each time, though means new sleeping arrangements and cell mates. After his last move to a three man, from a two man cube, he was relieved to be assigned to a room with one of his buddies and even though it was a three man, he was given the bottom bunk, so felt pretty comfortable. Unfortunately, that move didn’t last. Thus, the disappointment when he called the other day. Now he is on the top bunk of a three man cube–just inches away from the inmate on the top bunk across the wall,and he has two guys as roommates that he doesn’t really know. To make this move even more uncomfortable, his bed is right under a vent that blows cold air all night long. Since no inmate is allowed to have more than one blanket, he has resorted to sleeping in warmer clothes, including a ski cap!  Difficult circumstances, for sure. But I was relieved that Joel did not seem angry or frustrated, just a little sad.

As I was commiserating with him, I started to say, “I’ll pray that you get moved out of that cube soon too.” But then I stopped, and said, “Oh, honey, I used to think I knew how to pray about things like this, but now I don’t even know how to pray. So I will just pray that God will do what is best.” We were both reminded of the passage in Romans that assures us of the Holy Spirit’s participation in our prayer life. Romans 8:26 “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”  This is another area where God is making clear to me my own impotence and His mighty power. His Holy Spirit, is groaning for Joel right now! He is, according to verse 27, pleading with the Father, “in harmony with God’s own will.” What a comfort. I can groan, and the Spirit groans, and God listens!

4 Responses to "Groaning"

  • Amen! Well said. “I can groan, and the Spirit groans, and God listens!” There could be no greater comfort, no greater joy than to know that is true.

    1 Cindee Snider Re said this (September 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm) Reply

  • Praying for you, Joel and the boys. Indeed, sometimes all we can do is groan…and GOD is gracious to hear us! Psalm 40:1-2

    2 Jessica said this (September 15, 2011 at 10:22 am) Reply

  • Hey Tabitha, Uncle Kevin here. Blogs are kind of a strange thing in that they allow us to kind of peek into each others lives unnoticed and then, all of a sudden to parachute in quite unannounced. Your Mom pointed Aunt Linda to your excellent blog which she shared with me and I have now been following for a while. You are a gifted communicator! I felt compelled to break my silence today because of your chosen topic – prayer. God has had me in the school of prayer for the past several months and one of the things that he has revealed to me is that my prayers are often upside-down. What I mean is that I often pray for things that God has already provided but that I have missed. I think Paul got this is Eph 1 when he asks God to “open the eyes of our hearts in order that we may know…” We know God is present but we ask him to be with us. We know that he has given us all things for life and godliness but we keep wanting more stuff. I am now realizing how many blind spots I have so I am trying to allign my prayers for others and myself with Paul. So my prayer for you, Joel and the boys is that God will daily open your eyes to his active presence in your life, family and world.

    Because of Jesus.

    3 Kevin said this (September 18, 2011 at 9:43 pm) Reply

    • Thank you for that precious prayer. God is making us all more aware daily of our desperate need for Him, and his regular presenter and provision for us. I am encouraged to hear you follow the blog. It is a unique medium of communication. I would love to hear more of what God is teaching you on prayer, as it is an area where I feel I could definitely grow. Thanks for sharing these observations with me.

      4 Tabitha Joy said this (September 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm) Reply

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