Friday, October 26, 2007

1 Corinthians 9:22b-23

1 Corinthians 9:22(b)-23-“I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”

Hey, I just wanted to talk to you for a bit. I wanted to get in writing that I feel your pain, and I understand you’re hurt.

See, I’ve been where you are right now, even if you don’t believe it. In 1996, my wife and I were having issues. Our marriage was close to finished. I was a bad father, and a worse husband. I was mad at the world, and didn’t even understand why.

My wife stuck by me through those times, and I didn’t even realize how much I made her cry until afterwards. She would call her Mom and tell her about our problems, and her Mom taught her to stay in and fight. She helped us and I didn’t even know it.

I was so far away from God, and I couldn’t fathom how I got there. I used to go to work and just wish that something would happen-a wreck, a sickness, anything-to make the pain go away. I wanted to be done with life. I was tired of fighting to be happy; fighting to just stay sane.

One evening, it was particularly bad. My wife and I had argued, and I sent her to bed crying, and my two oldest kids (at the time, they were 8 and 6) as well. I was inflamed at the world and just wanted to be left alone.

I met Jesus that night. He came to me, right where I was at, and told me that He had been watching over me. He told me that He loved me, but He couldn’t rescue me from myself until I surrendered control of my life to Him. He told me that I wasn’t really alone.

He cared.

The next day started a roller coaster ride that has become my life. Some days it’s a suffocating drop from a wild altitude; some, a series of hairpin curves. But always, ALWAYS, my car stays on the rails. I always stay safe.

You feel alone now. You’re hurt, you’re angry; you’re a lot of things that you’re trying not to show right now. You’ve got to be strong, because everyone is looking to you for strength. But you don’t have any, do you?

I want you to know, that I care.

Even if we don’t talk that much, I care. I may not see you every day, but I care. You may not think that anyone knows what you’re going through, but I do, and I care. It hurts to get up some days, I know. I care.

You need to understand that you are not weak alone. You need to understand that you are not scared alone. You need to understand that you are not going through the valley alone. Have you seen the phone commercials on television, with all the network people walking behind the person with the phone?

I’m right there. And not just me, there’s a whole herd of us there following along, behind you and beside you, being your network. You may not know we’re there, but we are.

See, I didn’t know how many people were praying for me, until I came out from under the shadow Satan had cast over my life. I didn’t realize that the lights I saw were not the oncoming trains, but the candles of the believers who surrounded me in my weakness and took it upon themselves to petition God for me.

I’m not telling you this to say that you’re doing something wrong, or that God is punishing you for something. I’m telling you this to let you know that things happen to people just like you and me. I’m telling you this to let you know that love covers a lot, and right now you have a down blanket of love over you.

I’m telling you this, to let you know that I’m here if you need me. I’m sure that you are proud and don’t want to tell people that you are having problems, or you don’t want to seem like a whiner.

I’m here. We’re here. We are whatever you need us to be, in order to help you get through this time in your life. I can be a sounding board, a punching bag, a fireside chat, or a shoulder just to lean on and cry.

I will be whatever you need in order to help you see Jesus.

I don’t need to know anything, other than that you need a friend. We’re here for you when you need us.

I know that you know Jesus loves you. But it’s awful nice sometimes to have a good ole flesh and blood hug every now and then.

Be blessed in the Lord today and always,

Bo J.

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