I am enduring a season of watching some of my most intimate friends go through some truly difficult struggles. One cherished sister is in the midst of a frightening medical crisis that could have long-term implications for her future. Another precious couple is in the midst of grave relationship issues. A third treasured sister is dealing with a wayward child who has some serious personal problems of his own. These are people in whom I have invested a great deal of time and love. And I must say recently I have felt so powerless to do anything helpful. I feel like all I can do is pray…and be there with and for them.
As I have sat with these individuals, I have shared the burden of feelings; feelings of pain, fear, hurt, abandonment and loss. My heart aches as I have wept with and for each of them. The earnest prayers in the dead of night on their behalf has comforted and strengthened me, and I pray, them. Yet, as frightening, sad, and painful as these circumstances are to observe in the different lives affected, I wouldn’t be anywhere else! These people are my family. And one day, I will be the one in the midst of the pain, loss, and confusion and they will be there comforting, praying, and present with me!
This kind of love is God’s design, and I am astounded at how profound the care and the love is that He gives us for each other….if we are willing to risk; to risk loving our neighbor, to risk being used by and submitting to our God. Please understand me; I know that none of this is from my strength for I am a weak vessel! But I am experiencing the truths of the Scriptures so powerfully! For instance, 2 Corinthians 12:9 is deeply poignant to me through the heavy days because I am experiencing the truth of it: "’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.” This verse is more alive to me today than it has ever been before.
As difficult as these last several months have been, I have truly sensed God’s grace and strength filling me when I have thought I have nothing left to give. My dependence on Him has grown profoundly. In my neediness, I am acutely aware of the sufficiency of God’s grace…and I am marveling at the beauty of His design for His Church! This is the love that we are commanded to demonstrate to each other. This is love that has eternal value as I invest in the lives of these people and they invest in me! These are the moments when treasures are being stored up in heaven. It is through this kind of love that God’s faithfulness is confirmed as He is creating His testimonies in our lives. My joy is overflowing as I discover yet again how faithful my God truly is. Ultimately, I pray that through these circumstances God is receiving the glory He so richly deserves.