We went to visit family last week. We loaded the van with bags, toys, DVDs (to keep the kids from rioting), and presents. We were nearly done with our trip. About two-thirds of the way to our destination and it happened.
I threw-up…in an empty cup, but none-the-less I lost my cookies.
The next two plus hours were a blur to me. We stopped two times for me. I slept briefly, then one of my sweet girls threw-up in a cup. I cleaned her up and got her clothes changed…Not long after that, my other daughter threw-up. At that point it hit me that I was in need of a bathroom and a cup would not do the job. We made it to the bathroom in time…As we made it to our destination, my daughter threw-up in again this time in a puffs box.
At one point during this amazingly difficult trip, I told my husband that we just needed to stop. Quit, give up. It was too hard to make it. Let’s just find a hotel and stay there for the night. He said no. In fact he said, “We will make it tonight.”
Thinking back it struck me. I’ll be honest this took days and days…I am pretty slow in learning God things from the mundane. Anyway this is what struck me:
That is the kind of friend we need to walk this life of faith. The friend that encourages you when you are worn out, smelly, bloated, and have puke-breath. The friend that exhorts you to take care of yourself and your family. The friend that rejoices in your triumphs and cries with you in your difficulties. My husband was that friend to me on our journey to visit family.
But in life, I need these kind of friends. We all know that there are days, weeks, months, years when we just want to sit down and say, “I quit. This faith, this journey, these difficulties are too hard. I am done.”
Oh, but God…God doesn’t quit on us.
He doesn’t say, “They are never going to get it. I am done with them.”
No, instead He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
We need friends around us to build us up.
To tell us, “You can do this.” (Phil 4:13)
To remind us, “God is with us.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
To keep our perspective, “Life is short and we have heaven waiting.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Don’t have any friends that encourage you like this? First I challenge you to be that friend to someone else. We can only encourage, remind, exhort others when we are in God’s word. So read His word, memorize it, breathe it. Then be prepared to love, encourage, and exhort others.
Second, I encourage you to pray and step out in faith. Seven-and-a-half years ago my husband and I moved to our current location. I was a new mom, in a new location, and I had just given up my vocation. I needed a friend. I prayed for a friend. After a year without really finding one, I asked a woman from church. I told her I needed someone to pray with me and meet with me regularly. She had been at our church for over ten years and she said that she had been praying for someone to meet with too. God knit our hearts together and we remain close to this day!
Finally I will say to you like my husband did on our trip, “You can do this. We will make it.” God is there for you my friend. He wants you to live this life in victory holding on to Him through it all. So rest in Him.