“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. “Psalm 30:5
Sitting in a black adjustable chair with a dark cape snapped around my neck, I quietly and attentively listen to the conversation taking place around me. Scented shampoo and conditioner permeate the air as the loud drum of a hair dryer reaches my ears. A woman dressed casually in jeans, a fitted t-shirt, and tennis shoes holds a thin comb in her hand and vents her frustrations to the other two stylists in the room. They listen, encourage her to let it out when tears begin to fall, and offer their advice. Then, one of them begins praying for her, and I just join in by bowing my head, closing my eyes, and echoing my affirmations in my head. The atmosphere is different. My heart warms.
And two revelations hit me. The first is a reminder that you never know what other people are going through, so it is important to treat people with kindness, compassion, and love. Be that light in the middle of their dark day; your nice gesture could make a big difference. The second is that everyone has “those days”—moments where they just need to be left alone, where they get mad at everyone and everything because of what they’re going through, or are just tired of all that’s going on. We all go through—totally not in the same way—but the reality is that it rains on the just as well as the unjust (See Matthew 5:45). That is life; tribulation will come, but, thankfully, it doesn’t last.
In recognizing that everyone has those bad days, I knew there was at least one thing that I could actively do aside from just showing compassion and kindness for those around me; it’s exactly what those women did for their friend who was struggling: pray. Sometimes what others go through is too much to explain, too painful to express, too personal to share with a stranger, but what’s so awesome is that God knows the situation personally, He’s just waiting for the request to be made known to Him (see Philippians 4:6). So, I can go to Him on your behalf, or on a relative’s behalf, or on a friend’s behalf and ask Him to be what you need, to fix the issue, to bring you through the valley. Prayer is important. On this day and going forward, I encourage you to pray for loved ones, friends, family, strangers, leaders, teachers, students, coworkers, peers, the world because it’s needed with all that’s going on…And just remember that the struggle must come to an end.
I wrote the poem below to reiterate what was stated but also, to hopefully, encourage someone with God’s affirmations.
Life is Complicated
Life is complicated…
A simple but loaded statement.
Trials, tribulations, trouble will come;
The Word says that it’ll rain on the just and unjust.
No one is exempt from pain.
It’s just we all experience it in a different way.
Then we deal with it in our own way.
And in some cases, we just have those days.
Days where I don’t want to share how I feel.
Moments where my feelings bring me to tears.
Times where I felt completely alone.
Seconds where, admittedly, I thought all hope was lost…
Or I have seen my brothers and sisters in need:
Tragedy enacting, dangers attacking, turmoil exacting a tangible hurt.
Other times, their struggle wasn’t so obvious,
But all they could request was ‘will you pray for me?’
The details don’t need to be shared.
I just want you to know that someone is there.
Even as I kneel in prayer, calling out your name, petitioning for your breakthrough,
I can assure you that God is already working things out for you.
Even as the situation seems hopeless—like there’s no joy on the horizon,
Just let me give you the reminder:
It will come because I know what God’s Word decrees.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
And if that’s not enough to encourage you to hold on,
If you insist you’re all alone in this turmoil,
I can bring to your attention that God never leaves nor forsakes us.
You will get through this with the Lord by your side.
Or maybe you think that the trial is too much—surely this will break you…
However, God says that He won’t put more on us than we can bear.
In fact, Philippians 4:13 decrees that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
And that means, you can succeed with Jehovah Jireh as your provider.
I mean, I’m just the messenger, trying to help somebody.
Because sometimes, that’s what someone needs:
To be reminded that the struggle doesn’t last always,
To know that the pain will subside; to understand that things will work out alright.
I understand that we all get tired.
You may feel like you’re stranded all alone in the middle of the unknown—
Feel like you have no idea which way to go.
I know because I’ve been there.
Didn’t want to share how I truly felt because other people just wouldn’t get it.
Convinced that no one would care, so I should just forget it.
A pain so real that it became difficult to breathe;
I understand what it’s like for negativity to weigh down on me.
But the undeniable power of God with the infilling of His spirit—
A feeling so different, life-changing, simply amazing—
Altered my life one day.
And my thinking changed; the attack of the enemy could not work out in any way.
Another promise of the Lord’s fulfilled.
Be reminded that no weapon formed against you will prosper.
Adversity will come, but you’ve already been assured of the outcome.
The battle’s already been won.
Everyone has their own tests to go through.
Some require immediate aid, and others are too much to say.
But there is one thing each of us can do.
I implore you to pray.
Start with prayer, believe, and watch God change things.
This is just the beginning to the solution.
Some things will require action,
But we can start with this practice.
And if you’re in the midst of a storm, this is a reminder that you are not alone.
Everything will work out.
Yes, life is complicated,
But it’s so much sweeter with the savior—Jesus—accompanying you through it.