I received a couple of phone calls from some old friends- I know why they called. They are experiencing some crazy, seemingly out of control, life is falling apart times in their lives right now. They were seeking words of encouragement. They were soliciting prayers and a listening ear. “Call Wendy. She’ll give me a word of encouragement. She’s sensitive.” They even told me that. Well, what they almost got was something else. I’ll admit my first internal reaction was, “Yeah, right! Whatever dude. Where have you been? I haven’t heard from you in . . .how long? Where were you when I needed . . . too busy living life right–but now that your life is all messed up, here you come looking for a faithful friend- please! You must be out of your mind!” Oh, I was awful. Now of course I didn’t say it (yet- ha!) but I thought it which is almost as bad as saying it. If nothing else, it shows the condition of your heart. Have you ever had people in your life that you’ve sacrificed for or were willing to sacrifice almost everything for but then they almost never find the time or the resources to be there for you? After a while, you get drained and you have to deal with those unbalanced relationships. I can hear you all now: “Noooo, not you Wendy! Say it isn’t so. You’re too nice! Too encouraging.” Hahaha… listen, I’m human. I have my moments! I’m definitely not perfect or flawless (fabulous maybe but not flawless- smile). My feelings get hurt at times. I get tempted to get a little bitter at times… Oh, back to my story…I took a couple of deep breaths, repented, and prayed, “God don’t let me hold offenses toward my brother or sister. Don’t let me be bitter because I feel like… well… Let me keep in mind (although they did trip on me) that this thing, this life is not all about me- but it’s about You. It’s about Your purpose. It’s about Your plans. It’s about Your desires.
So I listened. I made sure they felt like they were heard (which is usually what people want anyway) and I focused them in the direction of scripture. See, sometimes we just have to get beyond ourselves! I had to get beyond myself! Not that they hadn’t been wrong in the past- not that I didn’t have valid reasons for feeling what I felt- I had to get beyond myself for me– so that I wouldn’t give bitterness a legal entry into my life.
Later in the evening these words were on m y heart: “And There Was God.” I started thinking about 2 Tim 4 and Ps. 139 which lets me know that wherever I am, wherever I go- God is there. Through the difficult seasons of my life, God was and is there. Through my greatest triumphs and trials- there He is. When friends and family turned their backs- When no one stood with me- there was and still is God.
“When I thought I was standing on my own
Facing the most difficult time I had known, there was God!
When my heart was hurting & no one else could see
And I needed someone to rescue me, there was God!
He had not left me, He was holding my hand
Giving me strength so that I could stand
And boldly proclaim the power of His name
So others can see there is God!”
No matter where we are, what we’re going through- whether we’re experiencing our greatest moments or our greatest trials- whether we are crying or rejoicing- whether things are clear or perplexed- whether we’re making good decisions or bad ones- there is God! If we can just stop in the midst of where we are and acknowledge His presence, we will begin to see that He has always been there. He will never leave us alone. He is there to strengthen us, to guide us, to correct us, to teach us, to heal us, to restore us and our joy, to help us make better choices and lead better lives- holy lives full of integrity- lives that will bring Him honor and glory- lives that will stand as a witness of His Goodness and His Greatness!
So, you see, it really doesn’t matter who stands with you or if no one stands with you as long as God stands with you.
“At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to Whom be glory for ever and ever amen.” 2 Tim 4:16-18