I wrote a post called “Walking through difficulty… together” about a year and a half ago. It was originally published on a group blog called “Life in the Journey“. Unfortunately, like many group blogs, that one didn’t work out, although there are some very good posts there. In this post, I examined one of the many benefits of true fellowship and relationships which occurs when believers live through difficult times in community with one another.
I almost did not write this post. Honestly, compared to many people and the struggles that they are going through, it is hard for me to call my struggles “difficulties”. But, there are difficulties in my life. Everyone goes through difficulties, trials, struggles, whatever we want to call them.
Lately, our difficulties have included spiritual struggles, health problems, financial strains, and emotional trials. We’ve had relationship problems without our family and with those outside our family.
Struggles are universal. Comparatively, some have more difficult lives; some have less difficult lives. But, every life comes with its share of problems. Every person suffers in some way.
There is a difference for us though: we are not suffering alone. For some reason, explainable only as the grace of God, we have been surrounded by people who have helped us walk through difficulties. Only in the last few weeks, God has used (in no particular order) MaÃ«l and Cindy, Dan and Kate, Stan and Renata, Theron and Cheryl, Lew, Gary, Glenn, Dusty, Rodney and Denise, Jim and Kirstie, Anthony, and many, many other people to speak words of encouragement, to lend helping hands, to ask difficult questions, to offer support, to pray, to listen, to teach.
Recently, I was talking with a good friend who spent some time in another country. This time was difficult for him and his family. But, he also recognized how God provided certain people at just the right time to help them through these struggles.
Talking to my friend reminded me of how often I take these fellow travellers for granted. We are all walking in the journey. God allows us to cross path with many people. Sometimes, we cross paths with people so that we can help them. Sometimes, we cross paths with people so that they can help us. Sometimes, we cross paths because we need one another. Whatever the reason, I never want to take for granted the children of God that he chooses to bring into my life. Many times I find that God gives me the strength to make it through trials through these fellow travellers who humbly and gently choose to walk through difficulties with us. Sometimes, it is through these fellow travellers that God demonstrates his love, mercy, grace, and justice.
I thank God for the brothers and sisters that he regularly sends to walk with us through difficulty. I thank my brothers and sisters for giving so generously of yourselves, your time, your resources, and your energy.
Perhaps you would like to thank God for some people who are walking or have walked through difficulty together with you.