Faith and Despair

the-fork-in-the-road_0The choice you have isn’t between life and death as much as it is between faith and despair.

Many who read this are facing a significant choice right now, a daily choice, to fight or to give up. Some people want to give up but they keep on living, at least, if living is defined as breathing, going through the motions. Some people don’t want to give up, but they are facing death is such a real way that it feels as if they don’t have a choice. Death isn’t just physical. It can be emotional, spiritual, psychological.

How does that person who is facing such a battle get up every morning and put one foot in front of the other? How can that person find something to smile, even laugh, about?

How does that person who seems so content, happy, successful, or at least better than he or she has been in a  long time, have such pain underneath that no one truly knows about? What if that person would let someone in just long enough to glimpse the despair, the hopelessness, the pain?

I don’t know. The answers aren’t easy. But I do know this: People who look like they’re doing fine still have hurts. They might be monumentally worse than you imagine. Or, they might be fairly accurate to what you see. You can help. But you can’t make their choices. You can do your best. But you can’t change somebody’s attitude. You can’t untwist what they are desperately clinging to no matter how knotted you know it is.

Notice people.

Love people.

Serve people.

Listen to people.

And every step of the way, let God do His work. He is more merciful than you can ever be, but He’ll use you to live out a glimpse of His mercy.

Maybe the choice isn’t as much about that other person as you think. You’re not facing the same crisis, but you face the same choice. You might not see it that way, because you compare situations. Even across many situations, the choice is similar. Whatever you’re going through, whomever you’re trying to encourage and help, are you choosing faith or despair? Not for that other person but for yourself. A situation might not turn out the way you prefer, but you still have a choice in how you respond.

Be honest with yourself and with God. It is only with authenticity that you will truly see the choice in front of you.


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