Saturday, November 26, 2016

Everyone Has a Story

“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
(Luke 8:39)

Can you remember a time when you were feeling so overwhelmed about circumstances in your life and what you were dealing with at the time that you couldn’t think straight? You probably were walking around in a daze; shutting people out of your life; you probably weren’t even listening when they were talking directly to you.  It was a terrible time, wasn’t it?  More than likely you felt alone, depressed, not sure how you were going to survive, and no one was giving you the advice you wanted to hear.  It’s times like this when we get so caught up in our lives in trying to figure things out for ourselves that we actually forget to ask God for his direction and guidance.  When all we really need to do, is give our burdens to Him.  Listen to what He has to say and then move forward putting the worry behind you.  Worrying about things is not going to change anything except your mood and stress levels.  Lean on God and He will carry our burdens and the dust will settle where it was meant to.

When you know that someone else is feeling that same way, remind them of this too.  Be a person who encourages; help them lighten their burdens.  Listen to their story, be a sounding board, but be honest, don’t say what you think they want to hear; say what they need to hear, and say it with love and compassion as a friend.  God will give you the words they need to hear if you pray about it first.  Remember, every one of us has a story to tell and we have no idea unless they tell us they are struggling or what they are struggling about. 

The next time you run into someone in the store that seems to be so out of it, give them a smile or a compliment; that small gesture could pull them right out of what they were dealing with, even for just a moment, but that moment could impact the rest of their day.  The next time someone flies by you on the road doing 90mph, take a moment to pray for them.  Pray for their safety and that God can lighten their burdens.  We don’t know what they might be dealing with that caused them to drive so erratic; maybe they are on their way to the hospital or a family emergency, etc. We can be so quick to make a judgement when we have no idea what their story is.  Assume the best in everyone and trust that it will all work out as it was meant to. 

It is so much less stressful when you can see the positive in every situation and can encourage a person instead of knocking them down.  Encouraging does not mean you have to agree with those that are being negative just because that’s what they want to hear.  Though, it is ok to be supportive and agree with them that what they are going through is terrible or wrong, or whatever the case may be.  What is even better is to return their focus to the positive aspects and to God so that He can lighten their load and they can have peace in His presence knowing that His light will guide them to where they need to be!

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