Do you know anyone going through “STUFF” right now?

Lady getting bad news over the phone

Lady getting bad news over the phone

Do you know anyone going through some “STUFF” right now? In the last two weeks… I have a couple friends reaching out for us to pray for their kids that are dealing with drug addictions.  I have a friend in her late 40’s lost her husband unexpectedly this week. A mom got a phone call saying her son had committed suicide.  A friend that had some false charges brought against her by an ex-husband just to intimidate her. Two friends with parents in the hospital. A family that I just found out they are losing their home. Two friends that were going through testing for possible cancer.  This is a partial list, but I think you get the gist, people around us are dealing with some no fun “STUFF”! And these are just some of the ones I know about…

When we find out a friend is going through any one of these things, we often feel helpless.  Many of us pray earnestly for them, but we question is that enough? I have a counselor friend that hears all this “stuff” and more, in any given week!  She has all her clients memorize Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still. (NIV) That’s a great verse but I actually like the wording a little better in the NLT, instead of need only to be still, it says, just stay calm! When people that are going through a trial hear be still, they sometimes think well if I pray, I don’t have to mentally or physically do anything else. The truth is you cannot take any one scripture out of the bible and totally understand it without knowing many other factors throughout the bible. We are to pray for our needs and we are to pray for others, but we are also supposed to do our part, whatever that is.  James 2:14-17 (MSG) Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

When I had my knee surgery earlier this year, I certainly appreciated everyone that was praying me.  I was also very grateful for the friends that brought meals or yummy snacks to our house.  My husband was really thankful for that too!  I had a friend pick me up, take me to lunch and then drive me to my physical therapy. I truly value time with friends, so the time I spent with these friends during the first week after my surgery was the best medicine I could have received! These friends were a blessing and a welcome distraction.

I just completed a course through Global University and one of chapters talked about how Paul, a guy in our history from a couple thousand years ago. He was dealing with discouragement, depression and anxiety. Now in my bible notes it says no person, apart from Jesus himself, shaped the history of Christianity like the apostle Paul… ok, Wow! We are talking a mighty man of God! Yet, let’s look at some of the things he went through (found in 2 Corinthians chapter 11). Paul has been in jail several times, beaten up many times, flogged 5 times (39 lashes each time), beaten by Roman rods 3 times, pummeled with rocks, shipwrecked 3 times and betrayed by those he thought were brothers… there is more, but again I think you get the gist!  How does God comfort Paul? He sends Titus, A FRIEND! We are pretty confident that Titus didn’t go in there telling Paul to just keep your chin up, don’t worry, we are praying for you, be still and let God do His thing. We know it wasn’t in Paul to be still and do nothing. What we can imagine Titus doing is giving Paul a big bear hug, telling him how much he loved him and we know that he gave him very encouraging words of the good that Paul’s work was doing. He spent time with him. What I see is that God used Titus’s friendship to bring encouragement and a peace or calm to Paul, even though he couldn’t take away any of these horrific experiences Paul had suffered through and was still going through.

I had an opportunity this last week to go with a friend, during a no fun situation that when she first heard about it caused her to feel fear and anxiety. I was able to be with her, pray with her and really just be a friendly distraction. I watched this friend stay amazingly calm at a time she could have been anything but calm. We can be Jesus with skin on for one another…

God will put different people in our path, be careful not to close yourself off to them. In John chapter 13 Jesus gives us a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. I believe love is a verb, an action! May we all have a Titus or two in our life and may we look for opportunities to be a Titus in someone else’s life!

 

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Waddell

    Love this. You are so right – modeling the Love of Christ can and should be done. This is a broken and hurting world, and there are opportunities all around us. Just have to be available, to pray + Love (verb). I miss you my friend!

    Reply

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