Life Struggles

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They help each other and say to their companions, Be strong!” Isaiah 41:6 NIV 

How do you handle life struggles? Reaching out to other men who may have experienced that struggle can help you in your circumstances. God wants us to experience peace within our life struggles.

I sent a text to a friend this morning, How are you?” Her response was, I’m good. Nausea is visiting more frequently. Pain comes and goes. Felt like my skin was on fire last night. But overall good. How about you?” She is being treated for cancer for the second time with daily doses of radiation and chemotherapy, but that conversation is over a decade in the making.   

While I was out working, I sat on a porch with a potential client who told me about two forms of cancer he was battling and a new blood disorder they had diagnosed him with. We talked for almost an hour as he told me about working on his land and what he enjoyed doing. If you had missed a couple of sentences, it would have looked like two friends swapping stories, but I had never met him before.   

I had another interaction with a client who was telling me about his new convertible and his motorcycle and a project he was working on with his brother. I then stood speechless for 45 minutes while he told me about his wife of 30 years. She died in November one year and four days after being diagnosed with ALS. He melted right in front of my eyes. Emotions overtook him. I had never met him before, either.   

He lived in the middle of nowhere, but I asked him if he had a church family. He told me that his first marriage had ended in divorce around 40 years ago. His response stung a little. The church told me it was my fault, and I never went back”. He grew up in the same denomination that I did. Even if it was his fault, a four-decade-long wound is a pretty serious thing to inflict. People making God-like proclamations can be a dangerous practice.   

On the road home this evening, I was trying to figure out why all three conversations took place today. The only answer I have is that I have learned that it is okay to be okay. We have been through our share of struggles. Anyone who has lost someone can relate that there is a time when you catch yourself feeling guilty for being okay. I remember almost moving my emotions back to a place of struggle because it felt a little like I was betraying Jordyn by being okay. We still fight that.   

I think that is the point today. The notion that people exist who do not struggle is wrong. Everyone struggles. If I tell no one about the struggle, they may never relate to how we can help each other to a place of peace in the middle of it. Peace is a fruit of the spirit and is also the thing I probably value the most. I think God put a call in me toward peace despite the struggle. I think sometimes He wants me to help other people find it. Other times I think He wants to point it out without my input, but He needed the struggle in my life to make the point.   

Uncommen Questions:  

  • Do you have people you can talk to about your struggles? 
  • If you need one, my email is rickclaiborn@gmail.com I am willing, even if not qualified.   

Uncommen Challenge: Keep your spiritual eyes open. People need you.

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