"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

17 January 2006

Nothing to Offer But Hope

One of my coworkers has been going through a very difficult time. Her son has serious and multiple health issues, she’s getting a divorce, and she’s trying to juggle all this while working full-time (it’s actually more complicated than that but there is no point in going into details here). Her life has been such a struggle lately that I sometimes feel depressed for her.

Over the past few months I’ve tried to be a friend to her, offering her help, talking with her, visiting the hospital. I have given her lots of advice, helped her with some of her work, and tried to do as much for her as I can. But after awhile her problems became too big for me and I started to feel drained and overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure what else to do.

I finally realized that I couldn’t fix her problems, she had to do that on her own. That was a tough realization for me because as a child of God, I felt I had to do my all to support her. In her case though, she needed to step up and take responsibility for herself and try to get her life back on track. The day after coming to that conclusion I was very happy to see Carol’s post on a similar topic (my confirmation from the Lord that I was headed down the right track – don’t you love when he does that).

But the bigger realization that came to me after this whole ordeal is that I myself have nothing to offer someone except hope. I couldn’t fix my friend’s problems and I couldn’t take her sorrow away – all I could do for her is offer her the hope that is in knowing Jesus. He is the Counselor and the Great Physician. He may not choose to alleviate her problems, but he would certainly make the burden easier to bear.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

4 comments:

~Patricia~ said...

Praying for you to know how to offer the hope of Christ to your co-worker. Blessings ~ Patricia

Full Contact, Savior-centric Livin said...

You relate such a valuable lesson and such a difficult one to apply. We all (especially women) want to jump in and fix everyone's problems. The greatest hope we can give is to gently point them back to Christ!

Carol said...

This is such a hard thing to do. Carmen's right, of course. We have to point folks to Christ. But then we often have to get out of the way so he can do His thing.

The one thing I'm constantly having to remind myself is to not only pray for a hurting person, but to be willing to surrender to God's will in the situation. If there's something He does want me to do to help, He's going to have to let me know clearly because I am really good at stepping out of the way. (Maybe too good?)

Blair said...

I've been in this situation many times. You are so right, prayer and hope are all we can give really.

I too feel their burdens deeply and it can overwhelm me as well ((HUGS)).

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