A few years ago I ran the Long Beach Marathon. I had trained well (towards the end of the training is was like a part time job. I was ready and took off using a run-walk method. I was having a great time. I was even was enjoying mile 5, 10, 13…but about mile 16 or so were they decided that year to put in a bit of a hill I was reaching what is called ‘the wall.’ It is an emotional barrier were you truly feel you cannot go on. I was feeling that emotionally depleted despite all the people cheering me on, yelling out; “You can do this!” “You’re almost there.” “Don’t give up.” I wanted to give up, but about the time I was shuffling along contemplating how bad it would be to stop, God brought a friend of mine who just so happened to be volunteer at a water station up to me. I was so glad to see him. He asked me how I was doing and I just asked him to walk with for a bit. Him taking the time to just be with me brought my mind back from despair and empowered me to finish the race.
In life, and especially around the holidays when it brings up or enhances our marathon-type issues, we need people to journey with us. You see, when dealing with a tragedy or life’s big issues there are no real quick fixes. And honestly, the well-meaning platitude or saying, “this happened for a reason,” does not help all that much. The key is to journey with the difficulty, grieve, work through our emotions, process, give time to let God work through the deep waters of our feeling…and let others be with us helps us process the depths of our emotions and to be reminded of the truths of God. Like that He is with us.
Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I (God) will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
Having others join our journey does help.
Proverbs 20:5 The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Now for me the marathon ended, but in life when we face a loss or deep life altering tragedy the issue and choice is how are we going to live on with this reality, this loss, this tragedy? How do we keep walking on in life with this loss? How do we go on with now a new normal and arrange this happening into a new mosaic for ourselves? What does help is to grieve. Grieving is the process of journeying through a valley and the process of living a new normal, not stuffing nor ignoring but processing through with God’s help. The key here is to trust God and keep living, seeking to live life His way
Proverbs 3:5-8 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Listen to the truth of God…
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 23:1-4 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 1 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness 1 for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,1 I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
It will not be easy, it never is, life can be difficult and overwhelming, yet there is hope. This hope is found in clinging to the Lord and letting others be with you. It will help. As I ran the marathon that friend did not run the race for me, but helped me deal with my burden. Maybe you could be one of those who don’t just throughout a well-meaning platitude but actually walk with someone for a bit.
Church can be a place to build relationships where you can have someone walk with you or know another that you walk with. If you are not already attending a church we would like to invite you to attend one of our church campuses this Sunday. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net . We would love for you to join us.
Seeking be open and willing to walk with other through life alongside you,