Friday, November 26, 2010

"I just want you to pray."

It's so easy isn't it?

To add our two cents of what we think a friend should be doing. Or how they should view their situation or circumstance. We attempt to encourage them with truth they already know. And all they asked was for us to pray for them as they're wrestling with things.

We want to "fix" it.

We don't want them to struggle.

But. When a friend is just being human...our weak attempts of "building them up" can easily come across as input. Instruction. Even correction or minimizing of their struggle.

Years ago a wise woman once explained to me how she appealed to a "fix-it-friend" and asked if her friend could just let her struggle. She knew the truth. She was fighting to believe it. And yet, amidst her human-ness, it seemed her friend was simply bypassing the "struggle" part and wanting her to "arrive" on the other side. When what she really needed...was to be ministered to amidst and in the struggle. No rushing ahead. Simply enduring pain or forbearing circumstances. Someone to rub her back amidst all the mess and tell her, "I'm sorry." and pray with her. and for her.

She wasn't asking for a circumstantial change. Or even complaining about what was transpiring. She was asking for a friend to bear her burdens with her.

It's easy to do. We want to help. We mean well. It's only our love that's being revealed.

But when a friend is struggling, and something is difficult...when someone's grieving, or there's not really much to say...

...often we can help the most when we keep our mouths shut. When we don't try to pretend like we understand. Or explain to them how we can in some way relate.

Nope. Sometimes no words are what serve best. Letting each other be weak, and be a mess. And asking God to fill our hearts with hope and fresh faith.

I am reminded of Job and the additional agony his friends brought him amidst his need to just be cared for. I think there is so much for us to learn in this story...

And I am reminded of Jesus. And how He asked His friends to pray with Him in the Garden...the hour of His greatest need. And they fell asleep on Him. May we respond in grace as Christ did when we find ourselves on the other side of the scenario as well...

And may we learn to JUST PRAY for our loved ones when they need it.


Anonymous said...

JJ; you have LIVED this. You regularly ask for counsel and welcome correction. But you also ask for PRAYER which is such a joy to do for you! I love you my young friend. And I learn much from you each time we talk.

Sheree said...

I SO needed to hear this. Thank you for sharing. I cannot tell you how encouraging this was for me.
I love you.