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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

At the End Is the Beginning

My life’s not my own anymore, I can say,
I surrendered it long ago and now every single day,
I count what is lost only a gain,
Because with Christ my life’s spiritually sane.
Like so many, my experience of salvation was the beginning of life—not the end.
Sometimes we see before us a great precipice. As we approach that rock bottom experience—the absolute pit of despair—we come not to the end of life, but truly to the beginning of it.
God reframes life from the perspective of eternity.
We have invested all of our energy and all of our identity in this one life that we knew. When that life came to a close we perhaps began to understand there was more to life than what we knew. When that knowledge entered our heads and penetrated into our hearts, we began to see life completely anew.
We suddenly discovered that the surrendered life is the only true life; the abundant life where the seen worldly concern withers and fades in comparison to the unseen realities that are backed in God’s truth.
When we arrived at this place—that brand-new beginning—we sensed that we had been taken there for a reason. God purposed the low time would not be an end in itself, but, on the basis of our attitude to draw near to him, he would revive us, and give us something we never dared imagine.
As we experience this life, this new energy, this new worldview, this newly settled nature, we become instinctive regarding our reactions to all things in life. Our responses are measured by calm poise, as we seek to discern what the Spirit is saying for us to do.
When my life is no longer my own, I, for the first time, truly begin to understand God.
God has brought me here for a reason. God has withdrawn everything I have loved in order that he may be seen for who he is—a redemptive God who will give me eternity for a question.
The old life was a question.
We always lived in the question. We always endured uncertainty.
Now with God there is a paradox of uncertainty. We live in accepting unparalleled uncertainty and we are never happier because certainty is no longer our yardstick or goal. We have been delivered of such fear, because to need to know certainty is a want of being God. Instead, we allow God to be God and we take a position of truly relying and trusting.
Such is freedom!
The beauty of life that is no longer our own is we don’t need to have the answers. It is such a comfort to know we are nothing without God, but in God we are everything. And we can do all things through him who strengthens us, if we would abide by his will and surrender. There and then we taste freedom—in that God-space of reliance and trust.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hope Past Burnout and Depression

THESE TWO don’t always present at the same time; they’re not necessarily linked. But very often they are. As depression and anxiety tend to feed off each other, so too do burnout and depression.
Though it is arguable whether this age is any busier than any previous age, the one thing we can know is there are orders of complexity in this world that there has never been in any previous era. Sure, we are the same broken vessels to choose many unwise ways, and that has always been the case, but now we have this exponential factor of chaos plunged into the depths of our lives by sheer Western influence at the outer fringes of postmodernism. Enter the technological age where gadgets are designed to make our lives easier, but only ever end up supporting the opposite effect if they aren’t used wisely. Most people get it wrong most of the time.
The technological age is just one factor. There are many more sociological factors too intricate to deal with here. But we can see what is patently apparent—burnout and depression are on the rise.
Sorting the Cause from the Effect
The great unfortunate thing in this age, with many problems abounding, is we look for a fix regarding the effect of our problems and don’t sufficiently interrogate the cause.
For a little bit more effort, with a little more curiosity, by being a little more focused, we can work on the cause and, thereby, obliterate the effect. The cause of our problems is a lack of God. If we had God in adequate measure we would prioritise life in such a way as to be able to diligently walk the ancient path that God anoints for anyone to travel upon.
The ancient path of abiding in God’s ways is effective for life in every era.
Certainly, in some ways, we need belief beyond the entrapping fear of the burnout and depression double blow; we need hope beyond the nemesis that each is.
When we re-sort our priorities and implicate courage by creating change we smash burnout, yet we may need rest beforehand to have the energy to do that. When we no longer cruel ourselves for feeling depressed, and we deal with our thinking, going gentler on ourselves, hearing God’s affirmation in the order of our obedience, we negate depressed feelings.
One day at a time we can recover past these two, but we will need to change. We will need all the courage we can enlist, but none of that is beyond us. Let us seek God, the Healer.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Power of Acceptance and Rejection

DREAMS are powerful representations of our inner psychic worlds and they can communicate much to us if we’re ready to listen.
One recent morning I woke up, and, having not slept well previous nights, I found myself having dreamt vividly. I dreamt that I had accepted minor parties I’m in relationship with over the more major parties I truly care about. Sometimes, in trying to achieve a balance, especially in competing relationships, we overstep our focus on one party more than the other. I think this was the case for me, not that I wanted to take any ‘side’. The party receiving less attention could have been expected to feel a little rejected.
Having had my dream, I enquired of God, what could this mean?
The Lord said to me, “Never forget your roots, Steve. Acceptance is an issue for you for a reason: it’s because it’s an issue for everyone. Everyone must be loved. Everyone must receive acceptance, for anything less given has hints of rejection in it. Do you hear me?” he said.
Then I thought, acceptance is about safety; that everyone would feel safe in our presence.
It’s probably safe to say that acceptance and rejection are the two great powers within relational living.
We know that it is a biblical prospect that everyone deserves acceptance. Indeed, we are commanded to accept people; to forgive unreservedly, despite the difficulty in matters like that.
Having dreamt a dream and having made the connection I felt compelled to repent; to reach out to a few people—some within my own family—to try and even the ledger. We can only try. We can only discern what the Spirit is saying to us and then make amends however we can. It’s all that God could expect us to do. And we need to accept that at times we can’t make amends.
And we shrink and cringe at the thought that someone might feel somewhat rejected because of how we interacted with them. But in reality, we cannot demonstrate complete acceptance and unconditional love without imperfections bearing their way over our love, tarnishing its effect.
The power of acceptance and rejection is a power making and breaking life. We all need to be loved and feel we belong. It’s the most powerful force in all of life. God commands us to accept everyone, as people—it’s not about what they do or don’t do. If God loves them (and he does) so must we.
Many are somewhat made and many are somewhat broken, just as many are made and many are broken. And it is better put that we are all somewhat made and somewhat broken.
What we need to know, and accept, is the power we have in our accepting people and our rejection of it. As we show we accept people we love them, just as when we reject people we disobey God.
Rejection of any one person—at the level of their persons—requires repentance.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Making a Way for People’s Pain

“Dealing well with people’s pain will promote a far deeper level of trust than a jocular journey with their joy.”
We don’t often enough have full licence to journey with our pain, especially in corporate settings. People feel under pressure to present acceptably within the groups they belong to. It usually takes some work to open up space for people to feel comfortable sharing their pain, let alone allowing others into it.
But if ours is the role to nurture relationship—to increase the value of our outcomes through rapport—then we have a great deal to gain from opening up space where people can be real with their pain in our presence and in community; if it’s safe enough.
Pain: the Ever Present Reality
Scratching the surface of life, within the portents of the lives of those around us, we quickly see lives in varying states of completeness, raggedness and dishevelment. In a group of ten people we could say with some accurate effect that one or two will be dealing with some significant issue. One or two may be truly battling. One or two others will be stressed; a burden boils beneath them.
As we meet with people we are best prepared to accept the person who arrives on the day. We generally have no warning as to ‘who’ we will meet.
Most people, in the midst of a bad day, or a season of grief, or in dealing with a significant frustration, might present as masked whole people. But if we are perceptive we may detect that not all is okay. Without being intrusive we can offer them space. We can offer them the opportunity to trust us; an opportunity we will not quickly want to betray.
It’s not as if we have to look for pain. If we are a safe person to be with the pain will find us. We will find ourselves as part of another person’s therapy. How wonderful, and what a privilege it is, to play some part in the healing of another person.
In any group of people there are always those who are battling pain. Much of the time it is liberating for those bearing great burdens to be allowed safe space with which to communicate in. What a blessing for them and a privilege for us that we might listen without judgment and refrain from giving of unsolicited advice. Sometimes expression is all that is needed. Let us be space openers, so that people can leave us relieved in some way of their burdens.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Protecting People’s Deepest Selves

“... the real meaning of what people think is out there actually lies within them.”
— Richard M. Gula (Italics in original)
This, above, is an acute spiritual reality—one that commands our sincerest attention: what we accept as truth inwardly projects outwardly, via our behaviour, gestures and words.
Jesus said a similar thing in Matthew 12:34: “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” What we have stored within us eventually emits outwardly.
Now there are a few dimensions to consider. Firstly, upon recognising we project our deepest selves we must rationalise that people will attribute and judge our behaviour. We, too, will attribute and judge ourselves, just as we attribute and judge what others project of themselves onto their world. Secondly, there is the opportunity to provide protection regarding these projections. As a minister I’ve had to learn that innocent and naïve projections from others need to be guarded; I have no right to abuse the power people give me, sometimes without even their own knowledge. I have learned that the most responsible thing to do when dealing with other people’s projections—views they have formed of the world—is to gradually and sensitively return them to them, and best in ways they can learn and, thus, become more empowered. This is called speaking the truth in love.
We so often share more than we would later feel comfortable.
It is, therefore, a wonderful thing to share things, including the projections of our inner hearts, within the realm of safety; in a place where the person we trust may have power, but they choose to use that power responsibly, diligently, morally, dignifying the other person.
We must learn to protect people’s projections, not gossiping about them, nor judging them, or criticising them. We have been allowed passage into another’s inner world. What right do we have to trample their inner garden?
Especially for the minister, or anyone in authority, there is the role of responsible power deployment. Power has been vested in us; to play a role. God requires we play the role responsibly, diligently, morally, dignifying the other person.
More than this; we do people a great service of love when we carry their projections, and contain them, even linking them to a better point of liberation of soul.
When someone trusts us we have a responsibility to honour their trust; to be responsible, diligent, moral, dignifying them. What they say they believe from deep within them. It is precious ground. When we traipse gently through the garden of the inner person we get beautiful opportunities to journey with them toward healing and faith. We must respect what we wish to protect.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It’s All About Friendship

I love the words the Lord gives me through the battles I have with my inner self. This one recently when I struggled with a certain person who chose a different way to me, seemingly against me:
Make it your resolve to be friends with everyone as far as it depends on you. People make choices based on their experiences. Everyone can be understood when we look at them from their viewpoint. Hurt is also easily understood. What hurts one would hurt most. We have more in common than we think. Friendship is the most valuable gift we can give anyone.
This, the wisdom of God, was intended for me, in my situation of hurt; to reconcile that hurt to God in order that the friendship I could have with this person could be accomplished in Jesus’ name, in the Holy Spirit’s power, by the authority of the Father.
This is a fine word in the order of life.
I can say this, and it can be true, due one thing: the spiritual life is all about relationships.
When we comprehend that life begins and has its middle and ends with the material of our relationships, and we do everything we can to abide by this truth, life never gets better; never ever.
Life is all about friendship.
Friendship makes life go well when there is little to complain about, but, perhaps more importantly, friendship is the thing that pushes us to obey God in humility by repentance when people have hurt us. People hurt us. We hurt them. None of us is insulated from either reality. We bear the potential of hurt every single conscious moment. It is up to us to fortify ourselves in order that we wouldn’t hurt or be hurt.
Only God gives us the power to love when we would prefer to hate.
Only the matter of grace can help us; grace for ourselves in our hurt space to defy the humiliation of returning to God and grace for the other to love them when our heart of hearts determines they don’t deserve it. Grace helps when we are wrong, even though we feel right.
Everyone deserves to be loved, whether we see it or not.
Living the spiritual life within the realm of wholeness requires us to deal with everybody as if they are a friend. Everyone has a reason for who they are and what they’ve become. Rather than judge anyone we best love them as simply and as properly as we can. Then we are both blessed. Then God is glorified in our being and in their presence.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Opportunity’s Formation Out of Disappointment

Unexpected things occur in our lives all the time, but when something happens with drastic ramifications we’re sure to be tempted out into the lake of disappointment, and to tend toward the rapids of resentment that take us, bereft of peace, into a stagnant creek-land of indignant anger.
Disappointment is founded upon a nasty surprise, most often because our expectations received a jolt.
It’s easy to see how we’re found without space,
When all along we’ve expected plenty of grace,
But the movement of life has its quirks and turns,
So the person who’s humble simply picks up and learns.
It’s too easy to become disappointed in life. It’s about as common a reaction to things that don’t go well as we can imagine. And of course our expectations are behind our disappointment, so the higher the expectation the more disappointed we will be when things don’t go well.
Perhaps it is not an answer for us to have low expectations, just more realistic ones. But it is sometimes very difficult to discern what the right level of expectation is.
Additionally, we always need to be ready for the time when being let down doesn’t exacerbate an already frustrated mind. That is what most people struggle with; the accumulation of disappointments.
If we flip the disappointment on its head we find underneath an opportunity glowing where we would least expect to find it.
Opportunities form out of disappointments; but we have to be ready to think differently.
We have to be ready to see the broader view, for one moment in time—the overbearing landscape of disappointment—is far too wrong a ‘true picture’ (for it appears true) to be relied upon.
Faith Fuels the Opportunity Because of Underpinning Hope
Hope is a beautiful thing. It helps us not to panic in these situations, for when we panic we lose perspective when we need to gain it. Panicking takes us in the opposite direction (into a nomad territory) to that which we need to travel in.
If we have sufficient poise, borne on a sound hope, we don’t panic and we have actually expressed the simplicity of faith. Faith is a very simple thing; an abundantly simple thing.
When faith is the thing we practice, our vision is transformed and opportunities abound. Then we enrol ourselves upon discernment again, so we can choose the opportunity that best serves our need.
When we’re enveloped by disappointment, because our expectations haven’t been met, our vision for hope vanishes and good opportunities fly out the door. But when we calm our disappointment in hope—helped by more grounded expectations—we don’t panic and faith is the ensuing expression. Through faith we see more opportunities out of the disappointment, and better than expected things may usually result.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Toughest, Most Rewarding Work

“Self-leadership. Nobody—I mean nobody—can do this work for us. Every leader has to do this work alone, and it isn’t easy. In fact, because it’s such tough work most leaders avoid it. We would rather try to inspire or control the behaviour of others than face the rigorous work of self-reflection and inner growth.”
Where is the flow of our lives headed? Toward growth or retreating into stagnation? We are doing one or the other through every infinitesimal stage of our lives.
Nothing of what we do in our existence is truly passive.
Having been asked which people gave him the most trouble, D.L. Moody, the 19th Century evangelist and minister, said, “I’ve had more trouble with D.L. Moody than any person alive.” That speaks volumes for the problems we all have with our very own selves when we are being honest. Not that we dislike ourselves, but deep-rooted problems emerge from the ‘ours truly’ more often than from any other single person we know. And despite how much we would like to change ourselves, we are limited in the power of change, unless we give God permission to change us by his grace.
The facts revealed upon self-reflection bear themselves on us when we are honest, and everyone seeking to grow has the same opportunity. For one moment there is the scary thought—“Who am I?”—yet it’s quickly replaced with—“Okay... all is good, again.”
Asking the Bigger Questions
None of us are comfortable asking the tough questions of ourselves; ever. But we can get to a position where we can instinctually surrender in doing it by knowing it’s inherently good for us to do.
In many ways, in getting to a position where we can routinely carry the weight of self-exposure we gather strength against what seems an indomitable fear. If anything is going to make us fearful it’s us about ourselves. We don’t want to be vulnerable because it means there is both an unknown attached and a cost—both are undesirable. But when self-exposure no longer concerns us we are able to be vulnerable in a sensible sort of way.
When we have no fear for what God might reveal through us when we are vulnerable, we live with a humble boldness that aligns without fear to the truth. We welcome whatever God’s will is. Our agendas are stripped away and our lack of orchestration of the events of our lives is testament to our faith—we are being rewarded.
Good self-leadership is the fundamental cornerstone of the effective leadership of people. The best fathers, mothers, bosses, and authority-figures are deeply relational, firstly with themselves, holding to a high self-account. This is the toughest work—to be honest with ourselves. But it’s also the most rewarding of all work, because we work on ourselves with God’s undeniable help.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.


Monday, May 13, 2013


Brokenness and contempt and judgment as well,
How did we get to sit so much under evil’s crooked spell?
It grieves our God to see all this mess,
But rest assured, all, God has modes of redress!
It’s a rather naïve question, the one posed by the title. Most Christians can tell you that it is brokenness and the sinful nature that creates circumstances where people hurt, get hurt, and stay hurt.
Wherever there is a relationship that experiences intimacy that relationship will almost certainly suffer the strains of hurt; and it will need to overcome conflict in order to survive and thrive. Yet at any point, notwithstanding the previous conflicts negotiated, that relationship can be split asunder.
The potential for hurt is graphic; it’s an ever present threat.
The only way we can insulate ourselves against such hurt is in the fullest of journeys with God. Only when God becomes the most important thing do all other things pale into insignificance, among them the idea of being or staying hurt.
This is perhaps why so many so-called Christians hurt or get hurt, despite the grace they should otherwise experience that would fortify the experience of being hurt and would prevent the propagation of hurt onto others.
We have to wonder when a Christian person is hurt and why is it so? We are, again, being naïve if we think the Christian is beyond getting hurt or beyond hurting others, or that forgiveness becomes easy or easier. So much we find Christians are no different than non-Christians when they get into that hurt space.
But then again there is great power in grace and all Christians should, in theory, be able to access such power; but it requires surrender—that we would no longer be the centre of the universe, but God would take that place.
Where there are hurts and those hurts remain, without redress, we can wonder where God is. Does the Spirit depart or shrivel or become quenched? The longer hurts are allowed to fester without such redress the more apathy of care is noted on the hurt side of things and the less of a chance there is of reconciliation.
The person hurt is likely to be farthest from God, but isn’t it up to the person closest to God to entreat the weaker one with compassion?
It grieves God so much that his people would willingly war with each other. It’s a reprehensible situation of the direst means. Yet that is life as we know it; as we’ve always known it; as we’ll always know it.
Human beings taking control in life, despite God. That’s what must be behind it.
Why so much hurt, O Lord our God? Could God be saying, “It’s because I am not at the centre of their existence.” We also need to observe that it is our human way to stray from God’s ancient path. It resounds, therefore, that where there is hurt anywhere repentance should be the response everywhere. But that is expecting too much. If we would do God’s will more we would (all) repent more.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Believing in Forgiveness and Healing

We each possibly believe in the process of reconciliation of emotional interests, until, that is, we’re confounded by either the repeated rejection of our attempts to reconcile or the hurts become too entrenched to any longer go there. Both situations are lamentable as much as they are understandable.
We can begin to disbelieve the possibility of healing. We can doubt God’s power to resurrect situations that have long since been marooned on the sandbars of resentment and exhaustion.
But if God is able to resurrect the Lord Jesus, God is able to resurrect anything.
Indeed, living the resurrection reality—to live saved on belief of Christ—is the very matter of living a miracle. We should not doubt, but we are bound to.
We doubt because we impute the power of humanity—to lose our relational way—onto the God of both heaven and ordered creation. We don’t intentionally limit God, but we see scant evidence of our Sovereign creating miracles of the reconciliatory kind.
We see too much hurt and we begin to believe in the power of hurt, not the power of God.
Having Faith in the Passage and Prevalence of God’s Will
“Let God’s will prevail,” may be the inner cry of our souls.
That’s fine, but we need to also make it practical and get involved—to bring heaven to earth, in cooperation with the Lord’s Prayer, “On earth as it is in heaven.”
Having faith in the passage and prevalence of God’s will is actually about engaging in it. We need to add the traction of definitive action; to pray and pray and pray about getting opportunities of interaction of love and compassion that will show to people that reconciliation requires only a will of obedience on our parts.
Having faith in the passage and prevalence of God’s will is about putting all else aside in order that conflict would be placed in the vice of safety, so that anything that is awry could be challenged, but without any repercussions for any party. We can only do this via the anointing of God. We could not go near this type of work in our own strength.
Having faith in the passage and prevalence of God’s will means we will stop at nothing to bring the reality of heaven—harmony in all relationships—to earth. It’s amazing what simply holding on to faith in a miracle can do.
If God is able to resurrect the Lord Jesus, God is able to resurrect anything. Believing in forgiveness and healing is consistent with living the resurrection reality. God can raise anything. God can heal anything. Who are we to limit the power of God? No, God will do the impossible if we add to it our faith to cooperate with his will.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Seeing the Sadness Behind the Badness

“Every person has their secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a person cold [or bad] when really they’re only sad.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1901)
This is something I think everyone should not only know, but also incorporate into their operational psyche in such ways as to totally reframe their treatment of all people they meet and interact with; particularly those people who seem bent on hurting us as individuals. It explains so many things and augments our compassion toward the hurtful, whilst helping us to feel less fearful and less safe around them.
Those who seem convicted in their badness—the ones who bend us out of shape in their anger, violence and aggression—may be so riddled by the bullets of penetrated sadness they can only react by badness. Is this an excuse for them? Yes and no. It simply helps us to understand.
It helps to understand why things are the way they are.
When we understand this, we understand that people’s natures are more the same than they are different. ‘Bad’ people behave badly for real and understandable reasons and this truth should bear itself on our consciousness and our consciences more.
Those who feel they cannot love others probably have much more uncontainable and inner sadness than they can safely deal with. Their graphic inner sadness manifests in an outer badness. We get fearful in situations where we feel unsafe and we cannot think that the aggressor is even more vulnerable within themselves than we are.
Forgiveness Borne on Compassion
When finally we understand that people are always products of the culture around them we finally begin to understand the notions of advantage and disadvantage.
We are neither better than others nor worse. We are products of the culture and our environment we were brought up in. If we have very little badness in us, it’s probably true we have very little sadness in us. We were well cared for.
In the same way, the hurt person is not able to not feel hurt. They react badly because it’s all they expect and it’s all they know. And it may be all very unconscious for them. They’ve yet to submit themselves for healing.
Whatever it is, we, the compassionate, should strive to forgive their trespasses against us, because of our empathy for their situation: less family support now and more damage done then.
What underlies the badness in our world is sadness—unreconciled and angry about the injustices endured. The only response that works is compassion, through and through. Compassion helps us be less fearful in unsafe situations, it diffuses conflict, and it is the mood of forgiveness, which is both a gift to them and us.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Respecting Partners’ Friendships

We may struggle accepting the friends our partners pick; those who for reasons we know or don’t know grate upon us or drive us up the wall. We have no idea the affinity our partners have with these people as they wouldn’t be our choice for friends at all.
Sure, you can’t choose your family (most of the time) but surely a better choice of friends is in the offing. That’s perhaps our thinking; a mode of thinking fraught with danger.
The trouble with this thinking, no matter how appropriate it may seem, is it’s going to create resistance in our partners and then resentment, not to mention the conflict that always unsettles otherwise good things. The trouble with unresolved resentments is how they continue to rear up like cobras of the past to sting us on the neck of the present-found future.
Respecting our partner’s friendships is one way we respect our partners. And respecting them is loving them.
Respecting Relationship Boundaries
Respecting our partner’s friendships is also about respecting important boundaries within the relationship. If their friends are really that bad for them we may ask why are we in this relationship to begin with?
Rare it is that one partner will implement another partner’s advice regarding friendships they have, and not feel deeply resentful in years to come.
For many of us there is a great deal of work and prayer involved in coming to a place of accepting our partner’s friends. The best result is not only the freeing up of relational space that the friendship might blossom, but that we might eventually engage in some way with the friend ourselves.
We can afford to be honest and in fact most people will respect the fact that we’re open about how hard it is to provide this freedom. It still needs to be done tactfully; wisely.
When we respect a relationship boundary we’re inviting our partners to reciprocate; that they might respect us in a way that’s important. It’s important that this is not an expectation, but simply a hope—a wish based on a good investment.
Allowing and accepting our partners’ friendships is about respecting relationship boundaries. We don’t have to be involved with them, but we do need to allow our partners their space to nurture same-gender peer relationships. We would want that space for ourselves. Such respect as this is a very practical sort of love.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hope Through Struggles We Share

FINANCIAL PROBLEMS and pressure from a realtor, concern over a lack of work, and a recent suicide in the family; this guy had it all—all of the wrong sort of things happening in his life and in his family’s life.
His was a brave face, and, though he chose to have fun with his friends instead of wallow in it, he was ever brave enough to share. It’s not as if he couldn’t share; just like on Palm Sunday, if there was no praise for the coming Saviour in the streets the stones would have cried out
The hope we need through our pain, struggles and torment comes via the diffusion of our carrying that terrible load. We must pass it off; we cannot bear such a load without buckling at the knees.
It’s good, then, that pain forces us to seek God.
But if we deny it, God won’t be upset. A foolish decision (we’ve all made them) helps us to know that none of us have all of life.
Now this sharing or diffusion of the horrendous load—the concerns, anxieties and tremors—is not a miraculous healing in its own right. Best we not expect too much. But the miracle occurs steadily over time. As we connect more and more, more and more does that horrible foretaste of despair begin to make its way into the background of our psyche.
Cooperating with God
God hasn’t been the one to have placed us in our lamentable situation, but the Lord does cry out into it. He wants us saved and has power that is mighty to save, but we must cooperate and do his will.
This is not done by trying harder. It’s done by surrendering to his will. Surrendering is easier than we think. It always looks hard initially. But it is, in fact, easy from the standpoint of looking back.
Cooperating with God needs to become our habit; how we more or less operate.
When we do this there is a blessing associated; we are helped and we don’t feel so alone.
Now how we surrender in these ways is we share our burdens. We let go of them, and release them into the arms of a responsible and caring person—one who will hold us through it all; one that won’t give up on us. Seek that person. Also seek that in the Person of God—who never gives up.
Sharing our burdens is a key to emotional and psychological recovery. We find someone we can trust and share with openness and courage. The healing happens not overnight—not entirely—but the habit of sharing when we need to is blessed, because we cooperate with God by surrendering the struggles we cannot contain.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.