When Words Don’t Work

I have a fascination with the written word. A well constructed sentence has a certain power over me. Most of my books are filled with pencil marks, places where I just had to underline the words that jumped off the page at me.

I also have a thing for the spoken word. A skilled orator has my full attention. I love being a part of good conversation. It fills some sort of cavity inside me.

I have also found that the expression of words, either spoken or written, is one of the best releases for my spirit. While some go for a good run to cool off steam, or draw a bath to relieve stress, my release is found through conversation or through paper and pen.

But sometimes, words don’t work. And then I feel trapped. Like this inner-struggle has no way of cooling off, of being redirected, of settling. I try to talk through it, but I can’t put words on it. I pick up a pen, but the page remains blank.

Right now is one of those times. I can’t put my finger on what’s going on inside of me. I feel a lot, and I feel nothing. I feel empty; I feel full. I want to laugh, and I want to cry. I’m exhausted, but I can’t sleep.

Try as I might, I can’t define this feeling. Am I growing, or taking steps backward? Am I living in acceptance or in denial? Am I softening or turning hard?

How can I hand a struggle over to God when I don’t even know what I’m dealing with myself?

Enter the words of a Christ-follower named Paul, penned by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.


Thank you, Holy Spirit, for Your wordless groans. Thank you, Father, for being the interpreter. Thank you, Jesus, for paving the way.

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