St. Paul speaks to us about those times when our words fail us, when we can’t quite express what we are feeling or what we need in prayer. In these moments, the great act of faith is to simply be with God.
St. Paul talks about the Holy Spirit truly knowing our hearts. This is always true, but sometimes we forget that God actually understands our hearts better than we do. So why do we feel so troubled when we can’t put something into words? Many times it is because we want to be able to get past what we are experiencing, so we are trying to identify the problem. We are thinking that we need to get through something, so we have to see the path forward, we have to know where the end is. Other times we want to understand the situation so that we can process it emotionally, so that we move past the pain and frustration of confusion.
Whatever the case may be, sometimes we have to understand that some things are beyond our understanding. Our desire to understand the situation stems from our need to find some control when we feel powerless. But not every situation allows us any control, and our frustration can truly overwhelm us.
Sometimes the only thing we can do, as hard as it is, is be with God. Think of a toddler who is having a fit. There are no words to help, they are too upset to express what they are feeling, and the only thing that might help is to be held close by someone who loves them. If we see this great difference in our capacity to express and process emotions from childhood to adulthood, how much greater is the difference between God’s understanding of our hearts than our own? We are God’s children, and sometimes there don’t have to be any words between us. We just need God to love us through it.