Do you ever feel like you’re just barely keeping your head above the water, almost drowning in life with all its expectations, hopes and disappointments, and just knowing what lies on the horizon ahead? With God’s help, I am able to keep my head above the water now fairly well but feel the desperate tug of others’ arms as they gulp in water and their heads bob up and down in their dark seas. I am not in any particular crisis in my own life, but my compassion for those around me just plain hurts. God gave me this compassion to have a heart for others. It hasn’t always been this way for me. I was consumed for years with surface-level living, and hardly looked up to see those around me.
The funny thing is that I am pretty sure God is placing these sweet, dear ones on my heart for a reason. It’s for all of us. Not just to help them, but to teach me to know just a little how Christ felt when He looked into the eyes of the suffering, helping me not only to respond with pity but action. We are all called to be the Hands and Feet, and even sometimes, the most glorious Heart of Christ. No doubt, I am not doing this the way Christ calls us to when I feel overwhelmed. I know there is balance where He wants me to come and sit at His Feet and cast it on Him on their behalf. Certainly to pray for them, but I believe, in a strange way, to help carry the burden. And, Lord, if I can carry them through any of this pain, please let me have that privilege. If you need some working arms and a heart for You, here I am. If You need an ear for the lonely, the discouraged, the down-trodden in life, I have two that work well, thanks be to God. And You certainly know by now that I have a mouth that could be used for good. If I could be like the paraplegic’s friends and carry the cot, it is my honor to do so, in the Mighty Name of Jesus. You tell us that it was because of the friends’ faith, You healed him. Let me stand in the gap for those who cannot for themselves carry the load, Lord. I believe God is so much bigger than anything we face here, and I know He carries us, sometimes Personally and sometimes through our sisters and brothers.
I told Mike the other day as we were chatting, “You want to know a scary thought? These ARE the good times.” It was a stark realization, as we spoke of all the difficulties of our friends. It reminds me of the scene in “As Good As It Gets” with Jack Nicholson, as he walks out of the psychiatrist’s office and much to the dismay of all those around him in the waiting room, says, “What if this is as good as it gets?” The expression on their faces is one of sheer horror. It was funny at the time, but I feel strongly that times are getting more difficult as we draw closer to the return of Christ, and this may be more the average than the extraordinary. The good news, in all of this is that as we battle, we can look forward to that Day all the more, knowing we are closer each day to the most Glorious Eternal Day we have ever known. And in the meantime, may we keep treading water strong and finish this race well, and maybe give God a little glory through each struggle.