I had the privilege of meeting my old friends recently, two groups within seven days. Exciting people, amazing memories, spanning more than ten years. It was great catching up and going down memory lane. We had some great times together, and it was wonderful reminiscing that past.
In our younger years, we were full of hope, life and energy. We felt like we could rule the world. The numbers in terms of friends and acquaintances created such euphoria within us. Forget the different problems each of us faced; lack of fees, broken hearts, job hunting, looking good, etc. We were truly active in church as we took on various leadership roles, and we worked hard to stay on the straight and narrow.
Then, life happened.
One thing that stood out from recent conversations with my friends was the changes that have taken place in people’s lives, mine too. Behind the smiles and laughter are a people who have faced a myriad of events in their lives. Great jobs. Children out of wedlock. Baby daddies. Marriage. Children. Miscarriages. Barrenness. Struggling marriages. Separation. Divorce. Waiting and longing for spouses. Life threatening diseases. Failed businesses. Joblessness. Financial struggles. Abuse, whether physical or sexual. Depression. Violence. Suicidal thoughts. Death of loved ones. And much, much more.
As people talked about the changes in their lives, a cloud of sadness engulfed me, owing to these realities that we faced. In our younger years, we would count on so many people to share our experiences with. In stark contrast, one is now left with only a few to stand with you, if lucky. That is life. Such is life. People move on with life, whether physically, emotionally or socially. You have to be deliberate with your friendships as you grow older. Finding genuine friendships to share these struggles with is hard and therefore, for many, they ‘die’ with their problems.
We reflected, had time to pray and encourage each other, and we experienced such heartfelt moments.
One thing is clear. Everyone has their path clearly set for them. It is not devoid of troubles or problems. We all have our struggles. We can hardly anticipate what lies ahead of us, the joys and sorrows that await us. We can only live by hope, hope of a brighter future. A future where we can fight out or stand strong as the billows roll. We need courage, we need strength. We need faith.
Do you find yourself facing similar challenges? Do you wonder what is the sense of moving on with life? Do you feel like you are all alone facing these challenges? Be encouraged that you are not alone. I know that does not make the issues easier but it is also comforting to know that you are not the only one facing hardships in life. It is easy to give up on God when the going gets tough.
I hope you remember that God’s love is present and overwhelming in the midst of the storms that we face. And His Word gives and will always give us the encouragement that we need for living.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16.33
“Do not fear! Even in your brokenness, God will give you strength and hold you up when you can’t hold yourself up.” Isaiah 41.10
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34.18
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10.13
Back to my friends. They love the Lord. I believe that has made a big difference in their lives. There are many instances that would have caused one to give up and throw in the towel. However, they have held on to their faith, trusting that God knows best what is ahead of them. They have stood the test of times. May God accord His grace and mercies to them.
Will you continue living? Do not lose heart. Keep going on.
You take our failure
You take our weakness
You set Your treasure
In jars of clay
So take this heart, Lord
I’ll be Your vessel
The world to see
Your life in me, oh – Hillsong
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.” Isaiah 61.1