An Abundant Life of Fellowship
When we experience traumatic or difficult times we tend to believe that no one understands us or what we are going through. We keep our troubles and our struggles to our self and we believe that we are alone. Fortunately, we are not alone. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says that nothing is new under the sun. I think that means that no matter what I am going through, someone has had an identical or similar experience. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds us that two are better than one: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
Look at Elijah the prophet in 1 Kings 18 and 19. He had just called down fire from heaven, converted an entire city into believing in God again, and his prayers ended a three year drought. But when Jezebel vowed to kill him he instantly believed that he was the last-standing prophet. Elijah was not the sole prophet and he was not the only prophet fearing for his life. He had recently met Obadiah and Obadiah told Elijah that he had hidden and fed 100 prophets to protect them from Jezebel. Yet in the midst of the trauma and fear Elijah convinced himself that he was alone. Twice he tells God “I, even I only, am left,” and he asks God to end his life. God reminded Elijah that there were 7,000 people that had not worshipped Baal. God reminded Elijah that he was not alone and instructed him to go anoint Elisha. Elisha remained with Elijah until the very end and Elisha faithfully assisted him even when Elijah tried to get rid of him. Elijah was never alone again.
When I start to feel that I am alone I get dramatic, self-pity sets in, and hope dissipates. Recently, I was freaking out and on the verge of a breakdown because I realized I was not good at maintaining relationships or expressing love. This little epiphany snowballed into: “how can I call myself a Christian if I can’t love? No wonder I’m not good at sales, I will never be a good minister because I’m clearly not a people person, I’m going to be horrible wife, I won’t be able to make a difference, no wonder no one understands me, why can’t I be like sister sunshine.” For two weeks straight these poisonous thoughts plagued me. Guess what? There was no one to encourage me because I refused to confide in anyone. I had convinced myself that I was the only person with this problem and that no one would understand. God could not encourage me because I was too busy trying to convince Him to choose someone else.
Then, by the grace of God, a friend of mine was vulnerable with me regarding her personal goals. Because she was transparent, when she asked how I was doing I decided not to give the standard “busy” or “good.” I told her that I was freaking out because I was horrible at maintaining relationships. To my surprise she shared that she and few friends had been talking about wanting to build stronger relationships. Then she offered to help me improve my relationship building skills. Suddenly the burden was lifted because I knew that I was not the only one struggling in this area and I had help. Immediately light rays of hope dispelled the darkness of doubt and loneliness.
As the young people say “the struggle is real.” But you can overcome the struggle faster with God, and with the people He has placed in your life. You are not alone.
Written by Remaliah Evans. If you would like to reach out to Remaliah, you can contact her here.