Calming the Storm
How can we be of help to our hurting friend without compromising our Christian values and faith? It could be a dilemma! Doubts can cloud our mind. In our lifetime, we deal with experiences and stories about love and situations gone wrong. Same story, but each has to be dealt with differently.
Pain comes in different shapes, sizes and colors. Hearts suffer in different degrees and each person responds individually. It's a struggle within. Our hurting friends have to reconcile the turmoil deep inside.
Caring and supporting our friends who are going through such difficult circumstances should not materialize from our own human knowledge. Rather, it must depend on God's timeless principles. Remember to prayerfully place it in the hands of the One who perfectly knows how to heal the hurt and pain.
How Do We Help?
A. The power of listening
The first key to be a helping hand to a hurting friend is to be a good listener. Putting ourselves in the shoe of someone can be challenging. It is the right time to let go of our needs. Specially as human, we tend to draw in a conversation that only relates to us. Listening comes with great compassion and a whole lot of patience. Validate your friend's state of pain. No need to have all the answer, like what James said, " be quick to listen [and] slow to speak" (James 1:19).
B. In God we trust
"In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."-Proverbs 3:6 "
Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." -Luke 22:4
Bring the word of God into the matter. Pray for them. Pray with them. Always consider what God says on the issue. Pain open up the eyes to reality. It will never stop until we learn to to surrender. Let the pain find its place in the hands of God. Let the pain lead you and your friend in the presence of God.
Even though you are there as someone who offers help, your friend needs you in the process. In that very moment of pain your friend only sees the things that matters to him/her, but you, you see a better picture of the situation.
C. No sugarcoating
"Faith matters if coincides with the truth."
This can aid several areas. Help the friend to recognize and understand his/her issue. If asked to speak, don't be in a harsh tone, but rather be gentle. Encourage your friend and lead him/her friend towards Jesus. Your friend must come to a point where he/she acknowledges the pain and the source of it.
"Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord." -Proverbs 16:20
It is the best time to hear the voice of the Lord. As a friend you are there to help your friend gain understanding about the situation. Comfort him/her with God's promises. A revolution within must take place in the heart of your friend. Help him/her acknowledge the beauty of today and the newness that can be found in God alone.
D. One step at a time
"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard." -Isaiah 58:8
Healing is a step by step process. Quick fix is not at all advisable. As a friend, we are there to help but not to decide for them. In the rebuilding process, friends are not tasked to pick up the broken pieces. The job is intended for the Master Builder, let him rebuild the pieces and have its foundation within His presence. Let Him fashion your friend's life according to His original design. A temple of God that shows His glory for all.
In this lifetime we are overwhelmed by changes that leave us confused and hurting. Nobody is an exemption. Though experiences can be a good teacher, the best lesson can be found in God's promises and principles. Storms may take you by surprise, but "this too, shall pass". Learn to ride the storm and know that you are safe because God is in control.
Jhoanna Mharie Valdueza, TLW Volunteer
Jhoanna is an AB Political Science graduate who's advocacy is to share the truth of Jesus Christ to the youth through True Love Waits Philippines. She loves reading and most of the time immerses herself reading the works of Elisabeth Elliot, Corrie ten Boom and Leslie Ludy. You can check out her thoughts in jhoannavaldueza.wordpress.com