Life is hard. Sometimes, it is really hard.
Isn’t it great, however, to have friends, family, church members, and others who will come along side you and help! I am thinking of one Texas friend who I loved being with. We often ate lunch together. We would talk to one another about our lives including family, work, and church. When times were hard for my friend, he would typically say at some point, “But the good new is . . .”
He was always looking for something good within the context of any mess. He had a way of always looking for evidence of God’s grace. He was not in denial. In fact, he would admit pain and difficulty.
I found that when I was with him, I typically came away refreshed and energized, regardless of the topic of conversation. Other friends also energized me as they communicated their love, care, or just a sense that we were in this together.
Then there are others.
There are other people who can drain you dry in a matter of minutes. This may be a family member, a friend, a church member or even a church leader. This person may talk with you about a problem but there seems to be nothing life-giving about the conversation. In fact, such conversations can suck the life out of you. This person may speak with such certainty about you ought to be doing with the situation at church, in your family, etc. However, there is no sense in the conversation that this person is with you or alongside you. They may leave the conversation with you feeling burdened or heavy.
Such conversations sometimes go like this (about most any topic):
- “I see a mess.”
- “I certainly know what needs to be done.”
- “You (looking at me) are the one to fix this.”
As I write this post, these thoughts make me want to consider the impact I have on others in conversations. I don’t want to leave someone’s presence with them feeling even more burdened and troubled than before the conversation.
Lord, may the life of Jesus be present and displayed in me as I deal with others throughout the day. May my actions and words be life giving and not draining. When others are in my presence, may I make a positive difference in their day.