It is easy to say to someone who is struggling, “Just pray and ask God to help.” This is always our best weapon, but how else can we help break through the thinking that gets us into our current headspace? Something that has helped me greatly is to hear others talk about their experiences in the same issues. Just recently, a brother asked me “How do you connect with God? I’m really struggling to at the moment.” It was so uplifting to know that others go through the same battles, even mature christians still struggle to overcome similar feelings of inadequacy etc. Through this discussion it was like a light was turned on, a weight removed and I could see that I wasn’t alone in my struggles. We were able to encourage each other.
It’s easy to underestimate just how important we are to each other in our community. I know when I’m struggling with stress or feeling overwhelmed etc, I tend to withdraw from people. This isolation however makes me more vulnerable as I miss the opportunity for others to help and even possibly help others. On our own, our thinking can become skewed towards all sorts of negative thoughts or misunderstandings leading us further from the truth. Getting another perspective or discussing with someone could be the way to break through these thoughts and feelings and help us see the true situation. The experiences of others can be a benefit to us to know we too can get through these tough times. They may provide a correction on our thinking or advice from their own journey that could save us from the same errors.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
Many times, someone has reminded me of a verse of scripture (like 1 Thes 5:11) or one of the sermons we have heard that has been just what I’ve needed. Together is so much better. Sharing our lives makes such a difference. We have the opportunity to share, pray, encourage, celebrate and mourn with each other but only if we connect. So resist the temptation to withdraw from community and know that our Father has blessed us at Windsor Road with people who not only care, but are ready to show God’s love to you if you let them.