Revelation 2:19 - I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.
There’s a small stirring in my heart. Just a small one. Can you see it? It’s tucked under the ground waiting to be watered by showers of faith. Then it grows and grows until it’s shouting, “Don’t give up!” It’s like God is saying, “I’ve got this. All you have to do is follow me and I’ll help you have the strength to go on.” It’s not easy to continue down a course of action. But you won’t get anywhere if you decide you just don’t want to do life anymore. It’s easier to lay down and let the world walk over us. After all, do they really notice us anyway? Maybe they don’t, but God does. Let him be the one to speak life into your heart. Let him be the one to take you by his hand and lead you forward. Then, after you’ve followed him for a while, he will bring you to someone else who needs to hear, “Don’t give up!” Think about those around you. Is there someone who needs a doss of courage? I bet there is. And as you help lift the burden off another’s back, you may just find your burden of wanting to quit fell away.
Psalm 112:7-8 - He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
Uncertainty. The unknown. Life is like a sandstorm whirling all around us. So few things are sure. So few things stay the same. Our lives shift like sand on a desert island. Life’s uncertainties feed our anxieties. It moves them into a giant, shapeless sand dune. Fear wants a way of escape, but depression stopped caring a long time ago. Life doesn’t have to look like this. There are uncertainties in life, but finding support may help. Have a conversation with a close friend or family member and ask them to help you put things into a right perspective. They know life is uncertain, but they can point out some things in your life which are certain, like their friendship, and they may offer to help you through the unknown. God will also help you walk through the sandstorm of uncertainty, because he knows the beginning from the end and knows what is going to happen next for you. He will cause your fears to blow away.
Proverbs 12:17 - A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.
Honesty is more than just being honest with others. It applies to us as well. It’s easy to skirt around the borders of honesty and tell small lies, or leave out parts of a story. But we’re the ones who know the truth and this can damage how we perceive ourselves, which can cause us to hate ourselves. We must stop the judgmental cycle and give ourselves the chance to at least strive towards facing a true life. If you do, it’s worth the risk. Others will then begin to see the true you; someone who no longer pretends to be something they’re not. God will honor our efforts and will help us grow through this process. It’s never easy, but coming up with lies to tell ourselves and others can be harder. Let God tell you who he thinks you are. Then, the next time your mind starts to cause your imagination to explode on you, stop the thought and take it captive. Ask yourself if what you’re thinking is who you want to be. Be honest, but also take action and believe the encouraging words God is speaking to you and let the lies fly away.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 - If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Letting people into your life can be messy. And yes, it can be hurtful. It can take away the safety we feel inside our sheltered dwelling place. But is it really living if we keep ourselves walled off from the world? How can the flower of deeper friendships bloom if no sun has a chance to lift the darkness off your path? It can’t. It may feel safer to stay out of reach from other’s lives, but it’s really no way to live. Reach out. Try. Ask God for the courage to share a piece of yourself with others. Then as you watch your garden of friendships grow, it will help you to throw out the weeds of fear and share more pieces of your life with others.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.