On any given day, you can probably name someone you know that is going through a tough time. They may have just got some bad news, or it may be a prolonged event like a health issue, but regardless, it impacts their world and often the lives of those around them as well. What have you done in the past to help those in these circumstances? You may have been in that situation as well, to varying degrees, when things in your life get to be too much, or come crashing down around you, how do you respond? You may either try to suck it up and push forward, or check-out and isolate yourself for a while, or find some other way to cope. What has been the most helpful when you were in that situation?
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
Even if you are not currently experiencing life and death situations, you may still have some struggles you are facing. Over the past week or so, my plate just got a lot more full for the weeks ahead, with increased work responsibilities, projects that are about to start at home, unexpected distractions, and the normal challenges of balancing family and other issues. It all starts to add up, to the degree that something has to give, as long as it is not me giving up. Where do you turn for help when things get to be too much? Are you willing to ask for help, or give up something to make space for what you need to do? Do you find extra strength or try to get by on less sleep? Do you ask God for His help or advice when you are nearing the end of your rope? If you are like me, maybe it is a combination of all those things, to varying degrees.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Fortunately, the struggles we face in this life are only temporary. Often, once we make it through a challenge, whether it went well or not, it is easier to look back on what we experienced and learn from it. Sometimes, especially when we make mountains out of molehills, it is helpful to laugh about it and wonder why we ever got so worked up. But even little things can become big things when we don’t know what to do. It can be helpful to receive a word of encouragement, and offer of help, or to talk to someone who will just listen to us for a while. Sometimes those little things can be big in how they help us get through difficult times. Even if what we are facing is our own death, which is just a question of when, when we have our trust in Christ, we can still find joy when we make it to the other side of that obstacle as well. May your heart be filled as you overcome the big and small challenges in life, and as you help others do the same!
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21
Yours in Christ,