I could feel it happening and I couldn’t control it. My mood was worsening. Nothing in particular triggered its downward spiral but everything seemed to fuel its descent. Idle chit-chat, attempts at humor and mindless quips of co-workers grated on my nerves. The usual phone calls, emails and responsibilities of the day only added to my frustration. Thoughts of home, of family, of finances and of needs fought successfully for my attention and the weight of these burdens grew heavier by the minute. I was sinking further and further into a sea of worries and there was no rescue in sight.
Then a hand reached down and lifted me out of the waters. Actually, it was two “hands” – a phone call and a social media status. The phone call was from a loved one in a challenging situation. Her struggles are great, so much greater than my own. Her circumstances are restraining and her suffering appears endless. Still, she laughs; she finds joy in the little things in her life and she holds out hope for a brighter future.
The social media status was a post from a high school senior who will soon be facing major surgery. I don’t know him. A mutual friend shared the status asking for prayer. What I do know is that the upcoming surgery is not the first for this teenage boy. Sickness is his constant, if not lifetime, companion and this young man is facing surgery with readiness and hope for a conclusion to his years of medical issues.
My lifelines – two people with different struggles reaching out for help and support became my help. While I worried that I may not have the money to buy the movie tickets I want, this loved one was wondering how she would put food on her table. While I worried that my child may catch a cold and miss a day of school, this high schooler dreamed of a day without sickness and pain. Suddenly, my problems didn’t seem much like problems at all.
Oh, how easy it is to lose perspective! We often wallow in self-pity, focusing on our own situations and our own worries. We retreat within ourselves and lull ourselves into an emotional stupor with the melancholy tunes of “Woe is me.” We get stuck in a pit and we lose sight of what is truly important.
I am so thankful that God doesn’t leave us in the depths of despair. Though our misery may be of our own doings, He shows us mercy. He reminds us of our purpose, of His purpose for our lives. He picks us up and refocuses our sight. He removes the blinders of self-centeredness and opens our eyes to the needs of others. He relieves us of the burden of our cares and frees us to help carry the load of another. Time and time again, God comes to our rescue.
Thank you, Lord, for your rescue, for your mercy, for your patience. Thank you for the phone calls, the prayer requests, the casual meetings – all reminders of your call on my life to meet the needs of others and to share their burdens. Please help me to remain focused on You when the woes of my life are grasping for my attention. May I be your Hands of rescue for another who may be drowning in despair. So be it, Lord Jesus. So be it.