Yesterday I spoke to a large group of troubled youth at a high school. As we discussed addiction recovery steps, which included accessing the help of a Higher Power, one young man said, "I don't believe in God. He just doesn't exist."
I replied, "When you hit rock bottom and have no where else to turn, hopefully you will discover God's power. Recovered addicts say they needed the help of a Higher Power. Some things are just too difficult to do alone."
After the class, I learned that this young man's father killed himself two weeks ago. His mother is consumed with grief, and his uncle, an addict, is the only adult who shows interest in the youth. I saw pain and anger in this youth's eyes as he bragged about his addiction and defied me to convince him that he had a problem. I could teach,respect, and encourage him, but I could not change him. He will need to make that choice.
Sometimes we need a friend to console us. That young man certainly does. Each of us needs someone who truly loves and respects us. "A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are,” we read.
Friends and family can be a great support, but sometimes no one truly understands our pain. No one, that is, but God, who described Himself as "a man of sorrows acquainted with grief." He knew loneliness, rejection, pain, sadness, and every temptation and suffering known to man. He understands us.
God doesn't go on vacation, put us on hold, or send our requests to voice mail when we need to visit with Him. He immediately hears every word we utter and answers every prayer. He can bring good out of what others intended for evil. He will strengthen, sustain and uphold us as we face adversity. All we need to do is ask for His help.
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
© Carol Brown