I have a new friend.
I didn’t go looking for this friendship. I can’t say that I’m always happy this friendship has been formed.
I have a few friends with whom I look forward to spending time. With these friends, I often find myself chatting, laughing, eating. Sometimes all three.
With my new friend, I seldom chat, laugh, or eat. I do often cry though.
This new friend stops by without warning, sometimes even showing up while I am with others. The attention demanded by my new friend usually forces me to leave the company of the others. It frustrates me.
No matter how rude I am to this new friend, I find the power of this friendship cannot be broken.
You may be wondering what is the name of this new friend I am not thrilled about.
Pain. My new friend’s name is Pain. Pain seldom comes alone though. Her friends are usually right behind her. Their names are Depression, Discouragement, and Exhaustion. They show up on any given day (or night) without invitation, interrupting my life and causing me to not be able to do the things I need and want to do. Others may not see them, so often others wonder why I am not able to participate in activities like I used to. My family wonders why I seem crabby. Although Pain and Company reside in our home often, they are skilled at staying invisible to those who dwell here with me. I sometimes feel like the child with the invisible friend that no one sees but me…and people think I am crazy.
I am accepting the fact that Pain and Company will likely be a part of my life as long as I live on earth. Some days I am better at accepting that than other days. On those better days, I remember that life on earth is not permanent. No one escapes death. (assuming Jesus doesn’t return for His church–but that’s another topic) On those better days, I remember that I have another friend who understands what I am going through. He “sees” Pain, Discouragement, Depression, Exhaustion, and any others they may drag in with them. He even cares that these new friends are trying to take over my life. On those better days, I ignore Pain and Company and drink in the rest that comes from my Savior.
I’m ashamed to say, though, that not all days fit into the “better days” category. Sometimes I let my new friends take over. I forget that Jesus is more powerful than they are and that He wants me to turn to Him. Instead, I wallow in my pit of misery.
You know what’s amazing though? After I wallow a bit, get frustrated, cry, throw a fit, or do whatever else comes with my wallowing, I turn to “see” Jesus waiting for me. He is waiting for me to remember He is there. He is waiting to help me out of that pit. I just need to reach up and accept the help He is offering. Sometimes my stubborn human nature takes a while to accept that help. Sometimes I accept the help, but continue to thrash in the pit. That makes it difficult for Him to rescue me. A lifeguard saving a drowning person tells him to be still and trust that the lifeguard will get him to safety. If he keeps kicking and screaming, the lifeguard may go down as well.
My stubbornness doesn’t negate His patience though.
That’s humbling. Sometimes embarrassing. And absolutely amazing!