“I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness.” (Numbers 11:14-15 ESV)
“Let the day perish on which I was born,
and the night that said,
‘A man is conceived.’
Let that day be darkness!
May God above not seek it,
nor light shine upon it. (Job 3:3-4 ESV)
“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” Selah (Psalm 32:3-4 ESV)
Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” (1 Kings 19:3-4 ESV)
“Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:3 ESV)
Heman & the sons of Korah
“For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves.” Selah (Psalm 88:3-7 ESV)
Author of Ps 119
My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
Cursed be the day
on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me,
let it not be blessed!
Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father,
“A son is born to you,”
making him very glad.
Let that man be like the cities
that the LORD overthrew without pity;
let him hear a cry in the morning
and an alarm at noon,
because he did not kill me in the womb;
so my mother would have been my grave,
and her womb forever great.
Why did I come out from the womb
to see toil and sorrow,
and spend my days in shame? (Jeremiah 20:14-18 ESV)
And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” (Matthew 26:37-38 ESV)
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 ESV)
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.” (2 Corinthians 1:8 ESV)
What these texts tell me is that a “loss of heart,” even to the point of praying for death, is potentially part of the disciple’s experience as we walk with God. Spanning both Old and New Testaments, God faithfully and tenderly cares for his broken reeds and smoldering wicks.