Life happens all the time and not always with some light background music. When we look back over our lives, each of us has a story to tell. Sometimes about the hard times. Sometimes about times when we nearly or completely lost the way.
Life happens. Often hard times strike because of a stupid decision taken by someone else. Like my daughter's friend who came to visit, quietly driving her brand-new car that didn't even have number plates yet. Some other guy decided to cut in front of her and her car was a write-off. That guy denied it was his fault.
Life happens. Or maybe you're waiting in the doctor's waiting room for your test results and you just have this feeling it's not going to be good news.
Life happens.A friend came to me. He couldn't stop crying. His wife had asked for a divorce. He was broken. He wasn't the one who had had the affair. Now he was being sued for a divorce and told that he was half guilty for what was happening. His life was over and he was wondering whether a tree or pole or bridge might be the answer for him.
Life happens also for Mari (not her real name):
Later this morning I have a case before the CCMA of an employee who had stolen my car, completely wrecked it, and now months later is taking me to the CCMA because I did not want to re-employ him. I'm angry! Very, very angry!
He stayed on my erf with me and my family. I trusted him. One day he tried to commit suicide. My husband took him to a private hospital and we paid for the best care. Weeks later he stole my car and now he was taking me to court because I did not want to give him back his old job. I'm struggling to forgive.
Once again, I realise that we cannot go through life on our own. Even if we believe, we need someone to now and again hold us up to prevent us from drowning. Or to put it differently: To help us not lose our faith along the way. The reality of life happens can easily steal our faith, which is actually completely understandable.
And that is why we definitely need people around us that will help us to stay on the road. Friends that pick us up to show us that God does still exist when it feels as if we're drowning in the storms of life. Like Paul with the people of Thessalonica: 2...and sent Timothy to get you up and about, cheering you on so you wouldn't be discouraged by these hard times.
God puts people around us to encourage us, to help us push on through the crises in our lives. However, it is still our responsibility to allow them into our lives. God has already put plans in place to help us through the crises in life. The question is whether we are prepared to accept their help?
But even more than that - God also wants to use us to help others keep the faith and to pull others through life happens. Yes, each of us is called to take someone by the hand somewhere along the way and to pull them up. I hope and pray that God's plan B has kicked in there where I did not stop when another was hurting.
And I pray for strength and I keep a lookout so that I will never again miss the opportunity to help others persevere in their faith and to encourage them to hold firmly onto God through life happens.
1 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Is your faith sometimes thin?
Is there someone who can pull you through?
Are you always there for others?
Father, may I never lose my faith in You. May I always make space for the people that You put on my path and allow them to pull me through the storms, but also that I never miss those I have to pull along. Amen.