“Life is not for wimps.” Those were the words of a friend of mine this week as I was texting back and forth with him. He had been on my mind and heart for some reason so I reached out and that was what I got back. I have cleaned up the language a bit, but you still get the point. As our conversation continue-digitally via text as is normal for us- it was clear he was in a pretty hard spot. We do talk too, but it seems with many of my friends texting gets to the heart of the matter quicker- ah, that’s for another time. Back to my friend. Like most of us, his life has been filled with ups and downs but lately it seems the downs are taking over the reality which he knows to be life. My heart broke for him as I heard what was weighing so heavy on his spirit and I wished that somehow we may have the ability to take on the pain of others. But alas, that’s not the case. So I listened and offered what comfort I could.
This morning I was reading from the book of Ephesians and my friend came to mind. I am not entirely sure why as at first glance the selection of scripture that I was studying has little to do with hurting, broken people and rather focuses on the gifts that God has given the church. Ephesians 4:11-13 reads, “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ until all of us come to the unity of the faith and knowledge of the son of God…” As I sat in my office and read, and re-read, and prayed about this passage it became clear to me that my friend- and really all those that are hurting and broken are right in the middle of this scripture. First of all, they are called and they are given gifts to help build the body of Christ up. But today the message for me was that they are the ones that we (using we hear loosely to talk about those of us that are maybe at a better place spiritually, emotionally, etc) are called to build up. The promise of our God is that we are never alone…never abandoned. Yet, so often, when life piles on and we are overrun with whatever we feel alone…isolated…weary. But God gives the charge to the body…to work together using our gifts to build up the body
– all those that we encounter. What an awesome body to be part of. What an awesome God to serve.
I am going to check in with my friend again today- and try to remind him that he stands not alone through this valley. Sometimes, that’s all we need to hear.