By Jennifer Heeren, Crosswalk.com
I was working at a place where I had become more and more miserable. It didn’t feel like it was the right place for me. I looked for other options but when none came I figured that God had a reason and even a plan for me to be just where I was. I tried to stick it out and I even tried to do it with a smile on my face.
But anguish still enveloped me.
I would get through my days trying to stand up under the pressure as best as I could, but it wouldn’t take much to knock me over. Traffic after one of those long and tiring days was often the thing that threw me off kilter. All that I wanted to do was get home but cars all around me seemed to block me at every turn. When I would finally get home, I would throw my arms around my husband and weep.
He understood exactly what I needed—to be held and loved until the tears went away.
The Apostle Peter understood this when he wrote, husbands must give honor to their wives. They should treat them with understanding. Understanding that realizes that women are weaker in physical strength (even though they are fully equal as a part of God’s creation) and sometimes need extra care (1 Peter 3:7).
Then Peter took his advice even further to fit all Christians, not just husbands toward wives. He went on to say that all people should seek to understand one another. We should sympathize with each other and love each other as brothers and sisters. Tender-hearted compassion, as well as a humble attitude, goes a long way toward getting along with others and helping them through the trials of life (1 Peter 3:8).
My husband quieted me with his love and care, which reminded me of my heavenly Father that promised to do the same. My Lord and my God is always near. He is a mighty Savior who takes delight in me. His love calms all my fears and sings joyful songs over me (Zephaniah 3:17).
Often God uses people to show His love to other people. But even in the moments where no human being is around, God comforts His children in a multitude of creative ways.
- You come across just the right Scripture at the right time and you remember that God is Immanuel, and He is indeed with you. And that knowledge strengthens and supports you.
- A line in a song reminds you that the Lord is your Shepherd and will always pick you up and carry you when you feel like you can’t take another step. You are always close to God’s heart.
- You realize in hindsight that even though bad things have happened, God has been with you all along and has guided you through those dark valleys with his rod and staff. Then you thank Him for His protection.
So, when your wife (or husband or friend or neighbor or even a stranger) needs a reboot, offer them these three things:
1. Your shoulder to support them when they can’t go any further.
2. Your arms to show your compassion and care in the form of a hug.
3. Your ears to listen to their worries, complaints, and fears.
You don’t necessarily need your mouth, at least not in the beginning. Advice and ideas come much later in the process after the waterfall of emotion has calmed into a more peaceful stream.
After all, doesn’t love cover a multitude of sins (and worries and problems)?
In the above-mentioned job, I determined that if I could just make it through another six months or so, things might turn around for the better. But I didn’t get that chance. I may have resigned myself to stay, but God wanted more for me than that. The company let me go, which turned out to be a blessing. The next few months—the same ones that I had been determined to push through—proved to be very rocky at the company, and God had spared me of that. A weight was removed from me, and a new job came shortly afterward.
Please pray with me:
Dear Lord, when I’m in the midst of a tumult of worries, fear, and sadness, remind me as quickly as possible that You are with me. I can never go anywhere where You can’t find me. In my mountain top, excited moments, You are there. In my desert wanderings, You are there. You are even there in my lowest, most distressed states. I may not always feel it but I know You are with me. Bring just the right person at just the right time to help me to stand when I am under pressure. And always remind me of Your immense love which was depicted on that cross. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk.com. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at www.jenniferheeren.com.
Publication date: December 28, 2016