lady friend recently told the world via a Facebook post that soon her family would get busy working on her obituary and her friends their tributes. I read the comments and everyone was trying to tell her to take it easy; to rebuke that demon; to say a prayer and get into fasting; to shame the devil and so on. Her sister was more forthright. She told her to stop the nonsense: “You are too young to start complaining about how life is hard on you. Some of us have been hit harder and we are not giving up. Wake up and go to work… Nonsense!” she wrote.
I called my troubled friend, as I did not want to comment on her timeline. I did not get her. I tried again after an hour or so and someone else picked the call: “X cannot talk to you now,” the lady from the other end said. “Where is she?” I demanded. “I will call you later,” she said and hung up.
I called her sister who told me my friend had done a very foolish thing. She had overdosed on the medication she was on. True enough, the family is, at the time of writing this, getting busy with her burial arrangements. But I (as one of her friends) am not going to write her tribute. I won’t write a tribute for someone who gives up on life. I refuse to celebrate a life half lived.
Brethren, life is not meant to be easy. We don’t always get our way, but we must not give up no matter the size of the mountain. And we are not the first generation of Christians to go through hard times. See what Apostle Paul writes about his days in 2Corinthians 4:8-9: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” Earlier in 1Corinthians 10:13, he had declared: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.”
Nothing is new under the sun. So what is it that so overwhelms someone to the point of ultimate surrender? Poverty? Lack of a job? Sickness? Love gone sour? Divorce? Marital infidelity? What is it that is new to the world?
My friends, each one of us is going through difficulties. Your friends might appear like they have everything together but don’t believe the appearance, their Facebook status of success or their big life. They might be going through more hell’s fire than you. But they know one thing: “God is faithful.” He will keep his promise to “not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” 1Corinthians 10:13. And God promises in Haggai 1:13 that He is with you.
You must not despair because in 1Peter 5:10 we are told: “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” Only non-believers should give up on life because they don’t know about a God who is in charge of their destiny; and because they have no hope even for eternal life. Death for them is final, and it is, therefore, the solution for all their troubles.
The Bible says in Isaiah 40:31, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
So while I am saddened by my friend’s death, I am even more saddened by her lack of faith, her lack of hope and expectation for better things. But she is gone and whatever I write cannot help her. Could it be of any help to you? I hope so. Because you are living now and these hard times will visit you from time to time. Some have them more than others… to every man his share. But to those to whom much (temptations) is given, even much (resolve) is expected.
But are we even the ones fighting? No! “You will not need to fight in this battle,” says the Lord in 2Chronicles 20:17, “Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
Published April 2017…