I have taken the past week and a half off from the blog to catch my breath and ruminate on a few different things. I will be resuming my regular schedule soon.
But today I wanted to spend a little time reflecting on struggles that many of us face during our lives.
I have a number of friends who have been going through a wide variety of struggles lately. People who have lost loved ones, are having marital issues, are struggling with addiction or depression, are facing health issues, and the list goes on and on.
And it seems like once one of my friends makes it out of the pit they are in, then another one enters one.
There is a lot of darkness, a lot of struggles, a lot pain.
And sometimes it is hard to see the hope.
There are many times when I wish I had the magic pill that would make all things better. There are times I wish I could just grab my friends, hug them like crazy, and everything would be fixed.
But I can't.
And it doesn't work that way.
We all have struggles, we all have pits we stumble into in life.
But there is hope.
The West Wing was one of my favorite TV shows for years. I have watched the episodes over and over again thanks to the DVD series I was given as a gift a few years ago. And there was a modern day parable (adapted from a Biblical parable) told in one of the episodes that reminds me about hope.
A man was walking down the street and as he was walking he fell into a pit that he couldn't get out of. So as he is at the bottom of the pit, he looks up and sees a doctor walking by. He yells out:
"Doctor, I am stuck in this pit, can you help me?"
The doctor looks down, then pulls our his prescription pad, writes a prescription, tosses it into the pit, and walks on.
Then a pastor comes by. The man yells out again:
"Pastor, I am stuck in this pit. Can you help me?"
The pastor pulls our his prayer books, copies down some prayers, tosses them to the man, then continues on.
Then a friend comes by, and the man yells out:
"Friend, I am stuck in the pit. Can you help me?"
The friend looks down, then jumps in the pit.
The man asks, "Why did you do that? Now both of us are in this pit."
And the friend responds, "Yes, but I have been in this pit before, and I know the way out."
When we are going through struggles in our lives, which all of us do and will at some point, the hope we have is that we do not face these struggles alone. We have friends, we have family, we have a God who loves us.
So my prayer today is that if you are going through a struggle today, may you be blessed with a friend who jumps in the pit with you. And if you are not facing a struggle today, may you be that friend.