The toll of the emotionally draining week reached its all time high. Though I was trying to use various diversions to clear my mind, my thoughts were overpowering me. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and fall apart. Worry was winning.
Greg, feeling the pain behind my welling eyes asked, “What’s going on?”
Fighting to keep my composure, I chose to fight my battle alone. “I’m ok” slid out before I caught my lie.
Unable to keep my feelings hidden, minutes later he asked again: “What’s wrong?” My resolve could no longer hold up; “I just can’t get past this anxiety.” I blubbered. He listened attentively as words gave way to thoughts swirling in my mind. After I had emptied my heart, he gave another perspective, God’s, opening the door to thankfulness and trust.
I am so glad the Lord knew we would have troubles so He featured Bible stories of those who had issues as well. This time, it’s Elijah and I who have something in common. Like Elijah, sometimes when I struggle, I struggle alone.
In 1 Kings 19:3, we find Elijah having relationship trouble; big trouble! A queen was trying to kill him. He decided the way out was to run.
“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19: 3 – 4 (NIV)
I don’t blame Elijah one bit for running when trouble hit. I have that instinct myself some days. Running to social media or a chocolate goodie when my emotions are a jumbled up mess is the easiest way out, at least temporarily.
Where Elijah missed it, and I did too on that day, was he chose to go solo. Elijah had a servant who was traveling with him, but he made the decision to leave the servant. He chose to go into the scarcity of the desert where his emotions only became darker alone.
Elijah and I both could have used the truth in Ecclesiastes 4, “two are better than one…if one falls down, his friend can help him up.” When we share our troubles with another godly friend, they can often help us to see what we cannot. Their perspective can open a new pathway of thinking; a road leading to hope and faith and away from despair.
When you add the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to the friendship, Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us our relationships become “…a cord of three strands not quickly broken.” Our pain, when shared, can be transformed to peace. Strength can take the place of sorrow.
Is there a burden you are carrying which would be lighter if you shared it with a friend? Make a way today to allow another to help you handle your load. If I can be that friend, for you, I’d love too! Just share in the comments below.
Jesus, thank you that you have given us the gift of relationships. Give us the wisdom when and with whom to share our personal problems so we can be strengthened and in turn, strengthen another. Amen
Here are some of my resources that you might find helpful:
Beyond Facebook Friends CD message
“His Revolutionary Love” sharing the power of godly friendships for teen girls
Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (NIV)