January 23, 2019
By Jennifer Davis Rash
President and Editor-in-Chief
Do you ever find yourself wanting something for others more than they want it for themselves? It might be an advancement in their career, a more productive and giving life, or to stop self-destructive behaviors.
It could be anything really — even more discipline or that they would be more excited about the opportunities in front of them. It might even be to have a sense of urgency rather than choosing complacency and mediocrity in life.
Granted, there are plenty of stories about parents trying to live out their personal dreams through their children rather than supporting the children’s dreams. That’s not what I’m describing here.
And I’m not talking about true mental health struggles. Those are real and need to be addressed, not ignored.
I’m thinking of situations in which someone is choosing less than the best options and then complaining constantly or wearing out everyone around them with their internal chaos.
Or maybe their decisions mean others are consistently rescuing them or picking up the broken pieces behind them. It sometimes means negative stress rather than positivity added to those around them.
All of us will walk through seasons of sadness, pain, difficulty, frustration and all kinds of other weighty stuff. Life is messy and nowhere in the Bible are we promised a stress-free, perfect life here on earth. But as believers we know our strength to survive comes from the Lord.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Isaiah 43:1–3 says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
A quick Internet search will showcase the vast number of reminders in Scripture that God provides the strength and power we need in this life. We need only to embrace Him.
Still the darkness of life can sometimes beat us down enough that we need the help of fellow believers to pull us out. That’s where prayer, encouragement and loving accountability play an important role.
I like to envision all of us holding a rope in each hand and staying observant to those around us, kind of like a lifeguard at a pool. At any point, someone in our midst might need a rope tossed their way.
But if we are so mired down in our own stuff all the time, we might miss an opportunity to help someone who is drowning.
A bit of urgency and desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others could change everything.
Sometimes the situation will be one in which we truly are only able to keep ourselves afloat. But when that is not the case, think of the difference we could make if we decided to look beyond ourselves.