“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”
John 14:25-27 (The Message)
I am an encourager by nature. I like to fix things. I like to help, even if I’m stretched thin and running on fumes. Are you sad? I’ll bake you brownies to help you feel better. Are you sick? I”ll bring you some soup from Bob Evans and a good book to take your mind off your sniffles.
Everywhere we look someone is hurting, suffering, broken, feeling hopeless. Devastating news from the doctor. Financial issues due to job loss or economic downturns. It’s in our nature to offer solutions, self-help techniques and step-by-step directions to make it all better.
However, God’s been teaching me something lately. He doesn’t want me to always fix things… or attempt to. He wants me to point those who are suffering in His direction so He can fix them instead. He knows what’s best for what ails each of us. Are you suffering? Hurting? Sad? Lonely? God wants me to point you to Him… not give you a Band-Aid from my collection of Snoopy and Star Wars, but point you toward Him who can heal you completely.
In 2015, I lost my job and was in a transition period for eight long months before my income began being replaced. When in a position like that, the uncertainty of “How long is this going to last?” looms large. In any devastating or seemingly hopeless situation one wonders, “Will this ever end?”
I remember days wishing that someone would wave a magic wand and make it all go away. Give me reassurance that it was okay, that there was hope and something better was coming. I remember in some of my darkest times having friends call me innocently to talk and I spent the entire conversation bawling, wanting them to just fix it. However, because they were more mature in their faith than I, they were wise enough not to offer advice, but instead to reassure me God had it, prayed with me and continued to point me in the direction of the One who not only could fix it, but would fix it, in His time.
And you know what? He did! In His time. Is it completely “fixed?” Depends on the definition of fixed, I guess. My income still isn’t fully replaced, but I know it will be. God has affirmed multiple times that I’m where He wants me and He has continued to supply for our needs and more wants that we deserve. Most importantly, I have peace. His peace.
Now when I have a friend who is dealing with something in her life that seems hopeless, I’m less quick to offer my own solutions. I’ve learned that the more loving response is to encourage her to talk to God about it. Tell Him her feelings, her fears, her anger, her… everything. He cares. He knows. He fixes! No Snoopy or Star Wars Band-Aids from God. If you listen to His solution and obey His commands, you’ll be amazed at His solution.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016