Life is full of lessons. How about that for an understatement! “What are you talking about?” You may correctly ask. When we least expect to learn something, we pass through an experience or a situation that leaves us wondering, “What in the world was that about?” Been there? Recently, I was there, all the way!
We often say that God is in control, and we often say it to others as they are facing some adversity and difficulty. But when the shoe is on our feet, we tend to ignore that same advice that we are so quick to hand out to others. We read of the biblical character, Job, and sympathize with him in the midst of his trial. Job’s three “friends” attempted to solve his dilemma and figure out what exactly God was up to in his life.
Often times we are so quick to apply the bandage of Scripture on the wounded person’s hurt. Unfortunately, the person is still processing what “truck” just ran him over. He is not ready for that. His greatest need is for people to patiently, lovingly, express sympathy and care in light of what he just experienced. There will be a time when the truth of Scripture will be welcome and joyfully applied by the individual. But in the appropriate time.
A close friend of mine was so gracious to me this week as he reacted to my negative news. He just listened, he heard my “rant” about how unfair the situation was, and he said this, “sometimes we need to have a trusted friend to share really difficult subjects.” Wow! You could have knocked me over with a feather. Such grace, such a caring attitude.
Nothing that my friend said to me changed the situation that I was upset about, nothing! But he listened, loved and prayed. What a lesson that is for me as I deal with people who go through the stuff of life! It doesn’t require a seminary degree, just the heart and love of God. James wrote in his epistle: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger..” (James 1:19)
I do not know how God will work out my situation. I do know that God has a plan and I can completely trust Him for whatever lay ahead. Whatever you are facing today, my friend, I trust that you lean into the Lord and allow Him to bring people into your life who will hear your heart.
For God’s Glory,
Pastor Bill Finch