I was reading a book last night on becoming the person God created you to be. I think it will provide me with much wisdom and insight in the nights to come.
Last night what caught my attention was that the author wrote that 29% of North Americans don’t have even one person that they can confide in. That statistic makes me very sad. Imagine going through life, with everything that life throws at you, from human betrayals to serious illness and there is no one you trust that you can talk things over with.
What is even sadder is that if we don’t have those human relationships in which we can confidently place our trust, how then will we ever come to know God in such a way that we learn to trust him with our burdens.
As I pondered the loneliness of those 29% of the people, I realized that God has blessed me and blessed me richly. I started counting the people whom I trust. People whose commitment to confidentiality is so strong that what I tell them will not go anywhere; and even more importantly people whose faith will compel them to pray for me. Just off the top of my head, I named 12 people. Imagine that, 12 people. And each of those people are Godly people.
I not only trust them with my deepest fears, sins, problems and life issues, I trust them to pray. This in turn increases my confidence in God who has blessed me so richly.
Last night as I drifted off to sleep the only thing that I could say to God was thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
As I reflect on that today, I wonder at how very richly blessed I am and it renews in me the desire to be the person that others can trust with their burdens. And it causes me to wonder, do I know any of the 29% of the people and if I do. how can I be open to God’s prompting to provide for them the safe place to share their pain. I wonder that because I know how often I simply don’t hear the Holy Spirit speaking, and sadly how often I hear the Spirit and ignore the message.
There was one time in an airport, while waiting for a flight that I overheard a telephone conversation of a woman somewhere behind me. She kept repeating no, no. And then she burst into tears. The Holy Spirit said to me, “Go and talk to her.” and to my shame I said, “NO” I reasoned that I was tired, I didn’t want to get involved. I hauled out excuse after excuse, and the Holy Spirit kept saying, “Go and talk to her.”
Finally I fled the Spirit by going to the washroom. It was empty. Empty. This was a big airport and the washroom was empty. I should have known something was up.
The woman from the phone call came running through the door sobbing. When she saw me, she stopped short and apologized. With a deep resentful sigh, I asked her, “Are you okay.”
Her sobs returned as she poured out her story. She was travelling to see her grandmother and had just had a call that her grandmother had died. She poured out her story, I listened, offered sympathy and then asked her if she would like me to pray for her. We prayed, she hugged me and went on her way.
That event is one I reflect on often. It reminds me to be humble. It reminds me to be aware of what God is asking me to do. And today I wonder about those 29% of the people with no one to talk to and I pray that they will find a compassionate soul who will listen to God’s urging and offer to talk with them.
If I am blessed with at least 12 people who will hear my concerns and pray for me, then I should be prepared to shoulder the burdens of others, even of those whom I do not know.
“For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.” — Luke 12:48