I was having lunch with a friend a few days ago.
A strong friend. And a friend who appears strong, even in the face of heartbreak and adversity.
This friend is going through a VERY hard time, and I cannot imagine the pressures and pulls from all different directions. Life is tough, and just because we claim Grace and Christianity, doesn’t mean we’re living a life that allows us to always frolic through a field of daisies. Jesus promised that “in this life you will face trails of many kinds” (John 16:33). My friend has been living that statement out for a few years now.
But this day was different. I was having lunch with a fragile friend. A friend, whom I feared had an exterior that was ready to crack at any moment, and if I asked one more question…that shell might just crackle and crumble.
Those moments aren’t easy for me, the fixer. Me, the man. Me, the friend. Me, the faith talker. I want everything to be alright, and I want to play a part in it all working out. But in my friend’s eyes, there was sadness and tiredness and loneliness.
Have you ever been there? Ever felt like an eggshell?
I was at the grocery store with some Deaf teenagers the other day and one of the items I was purchasing happened to be a carton of eggs. As I opened the carton and moved each individual egg, I asked if they knew what I was doing. I was pleasantly surprised, “Checking to make sure they aren’t cracked or broken“. That’s exactly what I was doing.
Have you ever felt like that? Strong AND fragile? An eggshell holds it all together, protects everything inside, but one foul shake of the carton or one harsh drop or one little push with your finger and CRACK…it spills its guts and there’s a big, sticky mess to clean up.
Isaiah 41:14 says, “Don’t be afraid. Feel like a fragile insect, Israel? I’ll help you. I, God, want to reassure you. The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 says,“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.”
Nehemiah 4:13-14, “So I stationed armed guards at the most vulnerable places of the wall and assigned people by families with their swords, lances, and bows. After looking things over I stood up and spoke to the nobles, officials, and everyone else: “Don’t be afraid of them. Put your minds on the Master, great and awesome, and then fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
So, you’re feeling tired, worn-out, fragile, ready to crack and crumble. What do you do?
- Focus on Jesus. The Author (Creator) and Perfecter of our Faith.
- Remember that God knows we are fragile and wants to reassure us, and buy us back.
- Recognize that Jesus Christ is 100% familiar with our weakness and pain. He experienced it all as fully human on the Cross.
- And finally, recognize where your weak (vulnerable) places are and guard yourself, recognizing that you cannot do it alone. Enlist the help of your family (those closest to you, whom you can trust) and fight with everything God gives you.
Rest today in the knowledge that God is on your side and “He, who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it.” (Philippians 1:6)
Check out “Able” by Needtobreathe: