Can I encourage you into this next year?
It actually involves sharing how I was caught off guard this past month.
There I was, sitting in a dark room by myself while weeping hot tears.
A couple from our church had stopped by only moments earlier to surprise my family with an end-of-the-year gift. While what they gave us was amazing, only two of us knew the true significance of the gift.
I was one of them, which is why I’d slipped aside after they left to pause (and, apparently, begin bawling).
The other individual with this context was one of the gift-givers.
You are not alone.
That was what I was overwhelmed by in that moment – a declaration inside of me from the Holy Spirit that brought me to true trembling.
Six months prior to this moment, the other individual and I had come to an impasse. I’m not at liberty to share the details, but I can say that it’s something you’re likely familiar with by simply being in ministry. There are moments when you want to hit your head against the wall over and over again because you see something so clearly that doesn’t yet make sense to another person.
With some people, it’s like the candidly satirical “Honest Preacher” video that has made its way around the Internet recently.
Thankfully, the individual I was at the impasse with desires to be tenderhearted toward God. That can make all the difference, for it allows space for God to make all the difference.
After that summer tension, I moved on by committing to pray for this person and give my best without knowing if a breakthrough would ever occur.
You’ve been there, right?
Has there been someone in your life whom you just can’t seem to reset your relationship with whom you remain in close proximity to?
You are not alone.
Sometimes situations don’t work out on this side of heaven as they should.
I recently ran into the wife of someone who intentionally attacked me through public slander years earlier. She obviously felt burdened to stand by her husband, and yet she and I found ourselves in local library exchanging small talk. We were about to move on from the awkward moment when I said, “You know what, can I take a moment to pray for you?” She was open to it and so I did, perhaps so that God might turn even that backward situation into something forward.
Other situations will have a breakthrough after the Holy Spirit is given room to work.
Kind of like what brought me to tears. After opening the gift, I moved in toward the person I had the tension with and offered a hug that was received and returned. We both knew (as did a couple of people who had helped us through that situation in the summer) how the Lord had worked.
What are you going through?
You are not alone.
- Follow the Leader: The whole “Holy Spirit living inside of you” thing isn’t just so you have yet another theological truth to pocket. God cares about you beyond measure and has offered His very presence to come into you. Be in awe of that. As Jesus said, “He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13) Every time you’re tempted to react to a backward situation or person, pause and follow the Leader instead.
- Deepen the Advice: People around you who become aware of what you’re wresting with will do their best to give you a pep talk or impart how they’d handle the situation. It’ll be more common to have even fellow Christians tell you to just embrace the theoretical peace of “agreeing to disagree” than having mature believers hold you accountable to actually become a peacemaker who sows in peace to “raise a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:18) Hear what people tell you, but then take their advice before the Lord so you can listen to what counsel He’d have you keep versus discard.
- Take the long-view: People tend to live according to natural transition points than supernatural transition points. You’ll see it at the beginning of the new year, end of the school year and beginning of the next school year as everyone shifts in and out of churches. Look beyond that and understand that someone who should respond with maturity today may simply not yet have it (and that person may be you). Live in the truth that God is actually at work, regardless of what you don’t yet see happening around you. His truths and power do not take a vacation, so keep on loving Him, your neighbors and your enemies for the long haul. “Pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
- Do what you can: Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 reminds us that it is meaningless to do life alone. As writer Steve Graves challenges, say thanks to the individuals that helped make 2015 a remarkable year for you as well as getting serious about community in 2016 by structuring your life to give and take relationally. This will require setting some boundaries, but it more involves doing what you can to further the connections around you.
You are not alone.
What in your life can we join you in praying for?
– Tony / @tonymyles
6 thoughts on “You Are Not Alone”
Please pray for me as I have been in this situation for 3 years. I struggle to see beyond the pain of the past hurts. Every day I pray for this person and ask God to give me the strength to forgive and let it go. I know only thru Him can resolution happen.
Praying, Rita. I can tell that your heart is in the right direction… and pray that your endurance – no matter how long it takes – along with the person on the other end’s heart will come together for reconciliation.
Great advivice!!! Now I’d like to pray for you.??????
The breakthroughs belong to God …
Thanks, Brian. I’d love prayer for clarity and conviction in the next few months. I’m trying to reset myself as well as our church into whatever God has in mind for the next season. Would love wisdom and unity on that…. all so that more people will become Christ-followers who disciples other Christ-followers.
Thank you; I needed this today.
Amen. Great to hear that, Caroline. Praying for you and whatever is ahead, behind and in front of you.