26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
We’re getting into Paul’s “greatest hits” section of Romans. And Paul, who is often quite wordy, reminds us that sometimes our words fail. This has been one of those “words failing” moments in our lives. What are we going to do next? When will this end? Can’t everything just be like it was? God understands that. And God, according to Paul, understands when we’re at the end of our tether: when enough has been said and you’re just worn out: when you’ve said the same prayers and had the same conversations and now there are no more words. “That very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” The Spirt doesn’t always give us the words. Sometimes it’s just the exasperated breath that draws us closer to God. The answer doesn’t come right away, just the realization that all things work together for the good of those who love God. We don’t even have to say it; we know it; we breathe it.
Thank you, Lord, for who you are, and what you have done for us. When we’re afraid, or impatient, or just stuck, be with us, breathe in us, pray in us, even without words—but in the Word of God, in Jesus Christ. Amen.