Bill and I are old friends. When we met up for coffee recently, he told me about his difficulties. His wife has developed a chronic condition which has left her bedridden, and Bill is struggling with her care. Meanwhile, he is overwhelmed by the demands at his workplace and the fear of losing his job. This has led to a crisis of faith. I had found myself battling with similar emotions not long ago. We prayed together, but later I felt I had more to share, and this is the letter I wrote. Dear Bill, It was nice meeting with you, even though it saddens me to hear of your setbacks and hardships. Recently I went through a rough spot in my life. Perhaps what brought me through could help you as well.
When I lost sight of God, I came to realize that I had to become quiet—like early in the morning, when only the birds are up and chirping, or in the quiet of night when all external commotion has ceased—calming my mental processes, to be able to hear from God clearly again.
Talking with a trusted friend about my heartaches helped me process the difficult situations. I learned not to be afraid of tears.
Reading a variety of spiritually feeding materials did wonders, as I found passages that turned my key. As I kept searching for hope, it did eventually spring forth.
Finding even small reasons for gratitude kept the nagging voices of negativity and misery at bay and helped me to keep open the door to regaining my faith. Since then, I have made some commitments: • Whenever I find myself too worn out to pray, I pray anyway—trusting that God will hear my plea. 1 • When feeling too weary to read the Bible, I read it anyway—God’s Word is living and powerful. 2 • When too impatient to find my inner stillness, I seek for it anyway—reminding myself that God mends broken hearts. 3 • When my thoughts are downcast and sad, I look up anyway—trusting that the fog will lift, for God rewards those who seek Him. 4 To end this letter, dear Bill, I wish you all the best and promise to keep your situation in my daily prayers. Your friend, Iris