by Annette Meyer
For several weeks I’ve been involved in an online Bible Study group using a book titled “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp as the study guide.
The group is composed of people struggling with varying degrees of brokenness in their lives. In every one of these tens of thousands of strangers across the world who post in this forum I am reminded of the story of my own personal journey from rock bottom upwards toward the light.
I observe those who are at the beginning stages of seeking a Savior, so obviously bulldozed by life, having been crushed down by the heaviness of oppression and adversity. So many have shared stories of having lived a sad, trouble-fraught life, many not ever having been taught that there is a significant difference in consequences between making good and bad choices. They have become aware that this unsustainable lifestyle has destroyed them and a wee bit of something inside them yearns for a savior that they do not yet know.
Their very souls cry out frantically from their built-in will to survive. Human eyes cannot see as hands weakly fumble the inner darkness to find a something; anything solid that they can latch onto. They can only continue breathing in their devastation because one tiny indistinguishable ray of hope still burns inside, guiding them closer to where there exists that as yet undiscovered something which is waiting to pull them out of their overwhelming circumstances.
This group also includes those who are farther along the way, now being energized enough to crawl, ever-seeking more release and learning the joys of being comforted as they learn a new way. For them hope is being restored. As we are in the process of being rescued from deep despair, out of necessity our focus changes, our breathing becomes easier and we move toward a higher level of understanding.
There are so many who are fully upright now, standing in a degree of healing, having been given the ability to see an ever brightening light shining upon their pathway. The common theme among all of these more experienced seekers is giving their witness of the immense faithfulness of their Creator. The spiritual mentor who has heard their desperate whimper in the darkest times has firmly grasped that flailing hand and has lifted them up out of the deepest pit to walk with Him toward victory.
Our Savior is the only human who has ever walked among us in complete righteousness. He has been misused and abused, suffering undeserved agony, then died and is risen up again. So shall we come out from our place of suffering in this journey of life to find strength and a complete healing through the struggle. The journey we take in this life is designed to develop an unwavering faith within us during all the ups and downs.
We seek His healing and receive assistance from the hands of others along the way. As young followers, we have freely received his mercies and are then also expected to freely give away, to minister to the needs of others who are equally broken, to bring comfort to the hurting, to provide for what needs we see around us, to share a kind word of encouragement, to reach out a helping hand to lift up, to hold space for those who are dying and to constantly rush to prayer for anyone who speaks to us of their struggle! As we minister to others in distress, it is counted as if we are ministering directly to Him. Being His hands and His feet is required of his children.
As we observe the struggles of others we may think that some issues would be less oppressive than our own, but until we have wrestled with those issues ourselves we do NOT know that specific pain. Therefore we can only sympathize with those who do and offer comfort. Let us be quick to have compassion and resist the temptation to judge others as being weak in their situation.
Many years ago I heard reference to a study that asked ‘if you could toss all your troubles into a pot along with everyone else’s and choose to draw out an equal number of problems, sight unseen, would you take this ‘new’ collection or stick with the ones you have currently? It was said that after some consideration the majority of people answered that they would keep the familiar problems they have now as opposed to receiving a random selection of others.
In review, as I look back on my own faith-walk, I know that in the darkest times of my life I have received the greatest miracles. When I repeatedly hear that same testimony from others walking the same direction that I travel, I am constantly encouraged.
Let us not become weary in welldoing. Be determined to carry on till the end, constantly counting the blessings that come with the serving. We have His promise that in His good time the righteous will each receive a robe and a crown as their reward.
May your coming week be blessed.