Facebook has a way of making you aware of others lives, like nothing else does. The intertwining of friendships, paths crossed and heart bonding is astounding. Many look down on Facebook, calling it superficial. It is. And it isn’t. It doesn’t have to be; that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve seen users rally around each other in a show of community and love that translates into real life.
One of the things that inevitably happens as we rally around those going through difficult times is words that are supposed to be encouraging, but are sheer nonsense. Someone loses their child and we say; “You’re strong, you’ll get through this.” Crushing news comes? “It’ll be alright, you’ve got this.” Illness strikes? “You’re a fighter, you’ll fight through this.”
I know people mean well, but when I read those things I think “If there’s something in me that makes me strong enough to watch my child die, I don’t want to be that strong.”
“If there’s strength in man to handle these things, let me be weak.”
That said, my encouragements wouldn’t be: “You’re weak, I have no idea if this is going to turn out alright, but you tend to bail out a lot so I’m not sure you’re gonna come through this.” Although, I do wonder – if they’re supposedly so strong, why did they get sick in the first place? Have you thought about what you’re saying right now?
I just don’t know how to make it through anything without hope in God. I don’t know how to go through anything without a sovereign God who has a hand in all things. Not a reacting God, who sees what we do, what comes our way, and then helps to make things better, but a God who has a hand in ALL things.
If we believe God is capable of anything we come across, why would we ever point people to themselves for strength? I know we mean well, but that has to be the most discouraging encouragement around. It’s God, His word, prayer and the Spirit that are going to meet us in those dark moments of desperation. When our strength is lost, all hope seems lost, when we are in the pit of despair – God is there. It’s like putting out a house fire with a cup of water and leaving the fire truck at home. You have access to the fire truck, pull it out and us it!
God is our strength, our hope, our peace, our strong tower, let’s run to Him and direct our “friends” to Him too.