The following is from Henri Nouwen’s Daily Meditation for April 7th and titled “Friends as Reminders of Our Truth”. It spoke to me as I believe it will for you…
Sometimes our sorrow overwhelms us so much that we no longer can believe in joy. Life just seems a cup filled to the brim with war, violence, rejection, loneliness, and endless disappointments.
At times like this we need our friends to remind us that crushed grapes can produce tasty wine. It might be hard for us to trust that any joy can come from our sorrow, but when we start taking steps in the direction of our friends' advice, even when we ourselves are not yet able to feel the truth of what they say, the joy that seemed to be lost may be found again and our sorrow may become livable.
Ruth 2:11-12 (NIV)
Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband --- how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."
I have shared writings from Nouwen with you before, and he is one of my favorites. This truth makes me dig in a little deeper.
Have been to the place where you feel like you are at the bottom of life and everything else? Most of us have. That voice you hear inside and the words of those who care about you flow with truth that we need.
When we cannot be the encourager, we have to be encouraged. By surrounding ourselves with great people and by listening to the people who really care, we will be better, stronger and get through the toughest of days. These are the friends who are true family members. These friends are the ones who hold on even when they are tired and stressed.
Their words remind us of the truth we have held before. Hold on and listen up.