A little while ago I had a friend who was going through a hard time. Some of the things he described going on in his life hit a cord; sympathy welled up in me knowing that I had been in that same place before. Sometimes we experience dark times in our lives, and in the midst of being in this darkness, it is essential that we remember the true source of Light. However, sometimes the memory of Light seems to fade, and even though we know the truth of the source in our head, our hearts can't seem to remember the warm feeling of the Light. In those times, we need to be reminded of the Light--to be turned around and pointed in the direction we forgot we were going. We need to be reminded of the truth. There is a lot that we can get distracted by. Life is full of changes in plans, reasons to celebrate, reasons to cry, people who love us and people who persecute us. In all these situations, only one thing remains: the Way, the Truth, and the Life...that is, God himself.
I wanted to share some truths I was able to share with my friend. A few things to hang onto in the times of distraction and darkness.
heart has been so heavy for you after you told me some of the things
that you've been going through and feeling lately. Not in a way that
overwhelms me or is too burdensome, but probably more because my heart
has known some of the same struggles you mentioned, and has known them
deeply. But I wanted to offer you some encouragement, and do that by
pointing out some of the things that I have seen to be true.
lonely is one of the worst feelings....I truly believe that the lie of
us being alone is one of the number one tools that Satan uses. He wants
us to feel alone, that way we become more susceptible for even more lies
he has ready to launch at us when we are at our weakest. This time of
year that lie is especially being thrown in your face, even without
other factors to add into it. But this is what I do know to be
true....you are far from alone.
You. Are. Not. Alone.
are people at work who you are around everyday, who appreciate you so
much, but just don't always remember to tell you. There are other YL
leaders who have become like a family, and may seem busy, but would be
there for you at the drop of a hat if you let them know. There are high
school students whose lives have been changed simply because you invited
them into yours. You allowed them to be a part of who you are, and have
covered them in love through all the efforts you put into that ministry
every single day.
And of course, there's the cliche, but all too
true matter of fact that you're not alone because you know Jesus Christ.
Who you can't hide from no matter what you do.
shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven you are there! If I make my bed in the depths, you
are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far
side of the sea, even there your had will guide me, your right had will
hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light
become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you;the
night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
know that you feel tired--warn down, exhausted, and over-worked. But
here is what I do know to be true. There is no better time for God's
strength to be witnessed than the time when we feel completely run down.
Take hope in knowing that when you find yourself in the midst of an
impossible task, it may actually be right where God wants you. Because
you were made to be in a desperately dependent place for Christ.
2 Cor. 12:9-11
he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made
perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about
my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why,
for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in
persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
want you to feel encouraged, and I do feel like there is truth to those
words. I know this about my own life, and where the journey has taken
me in the past...when I would be over-worked, and tired, I would then
get overwhelmed, which turned into anxiety, which eventually lead to a
depression that was pretty hard to get out of. And when I was first
experiencing this, I thought it just was something that just WAS. It was
there and it sucked the life out of me, but there was a reason it was
there and so it was just something I had to live with. What I have
realized, however, is that there is something that can be done. I can fight to
captivate my thoughts, and to identify lies and put them back in their
place, and to remain in what I know to be true. I can choose to see what
I should praise, and what I can be thankful for. And these things
really, really helped me.
am praying for you. For your heavy heart, and the darkness that
is weighing it town. Praying that you could see the truth more
clearly--even through the heaviness. Praying for peace, and for the
loneliness to fade away.
have something that I have seen other people strive for and desire, but
haven't quite experienced yet--and it's a true, authentic, conviction
and relationship with Jesus. It is more obvious, and inspiring than I
think you even know and I am thankful that I have been able to see bits
is full of changes in plans, reasons to celebrate, reasons to cry,
people who love us and people who persecute us.
In all these situations,
only one thing remains:
the Way, the Truth, and the Life...that is,