This is a slightly edited version of an email I sent to a friend in another state a couple of months ago. He was going through an excruciatingly difficult time, being unemployed and unable to finish his schooling (to prepare for a new career) while he cared for his ailing mother. She has since passed away, and I know her last days were made better by his sacrifice. He had other things going on besides all of that, but suffice it to say that he needed encouragement. This is what God gave me to say to him; I pray it encourages you:
I am so sorry for all you are living through right now. But you are living through it, and you will continue to. I know it’s horrifically hard. Again, I wish I was there to make it just a little better with a hug now and then. There’s a phrase I heard that has helped me recently: “God’s got this.” It says to me, “Whatever you’re going through, my child, I am in control. It seems bad, and it is bad. But there is hope in Me. I’m not going to let you down…this is all heading toward something for your good and the good of others who you will be able to minister to as a result of going through your current hardships.”
Our pastor said something that one of our Celebrate Recovery leaders loves to share: “God will never allow a hurt, hang-up or habit, unless He can use it to bless me, improve me, and uniquely construct me to finally live out the purpose He created me to live out.”
Meditate on these scriptures:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:6-8
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
My friend, God’s got this. Give it all to Him. Several times a day if needed – every time it gets difficult. Every time the enemy tries to tell you that God has forgotten you or doesn’t care. Every time he tries to get you to give up and turn to sin to medicate yourself. Keep reaching out to your friends who love you when you need a little encouragement. Draw close to your Friend who is closer than a brother: Jesus!