(Did you miss part 1? Click here to read I’m not fine.)
Sometimes life is unfair. Things happen that don’t make sense. Our plans get derailed, our dreams seem to fall out of our grasp like grains of sand. We encounter brokenness, loss, and pain. Life as a Christ-follower doesn’t keep you from pain and loss, either. In fact…you are guaranteed you will experience it (John 16:33.)
But when life is a mess, we are not “fine.” So why is it we say we are fine, when we are not? Personally, I think it can be necessary to respond this way. Some of the reasons I have for this (in no particular order) are:
- I don’t want to talk about it
- It’s not a good time or setting to talk about it
- I have not yet taken it to the Lord in prayer
- I don’t know how to talk about it because I’m still processing it and feel too overwhelmed
- I can’t talk about it
- I have shared this very private thing I am going through with my close prayer partners and do not wish to share it with anyone outside of that circle
Sometimes I’ll say one of the above…but often I find myself just saying “I’m fine” in the moment. What do you do in these situations? Do you respond “I’m fine” also?
There are some things I just don’t want to share beyond a very few people. I have specific friends with whom I openly share my heart and most tender prayer needs. They are my Hur and Aaron (Exodus 17:11-13) as they hold my arms up in battle through prayer, when my mouth can only exhale broken words and bewildered tears. And I strive to be the same for them. These friends are rare treasures, that you cannot find in everyone. These are the people you have to invest in and pray for, over, and with. God knew from the beginning that it is not good for us to be alone (Gen. 2:18.) Jesus-following friends such as these challenge me in my walk with Christ, help me back on my feet when I’ve fallen, and encourage me in my pursuit of the Lord (Psalm 37:30, Proverbs 27:9, 27:17, Ecclesiastes 4:10.)
Still, as important as these people are to me, I am learning that they should never be my
first source or primary place of lament and confession. Not even my husband can be that. There are times that I feel overwhelmed and must lean on the warriors God has blessed me with and share my brokenness with them. I must be honest and not pretend to be fine when I need their counsel and prayer partnership. But I propose that sometimes I must respond “I’m fine” until I can seek my Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6, Psalm 73:24.) What this may look like in the moment is telling my friend that I can’t talk about it yet, and then making certain I first take it to God in prayer. He’s the safest place to take my prayers and my burdens. His Word reminds me of this: 1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 11:28. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 as well as Philippians 4:6-9 I am reminded that I should pray continually and that I should thank Him in all things. We should keep a constant line of prayer open as we face life’s victories and tragedies, and everything in between. If we are not in constant prayer with God, getting to know His character and affection toward us through prayer and reading the Bible, then we cannot give thanks in all things. Without this close understanding of God and connection with Him, we cannot arrive at the place where we can find thanksgiving in sorrow. A close, trusting, Him-first-approach is the place where this kind of thanksgiving is born.
Seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33) He will take care of the rest. And while things are crazy, you’ll only find true peace as you seek Him (Philippians 4:6-7.) I’ve experienced it many times and know it with every fiber of my being. Just test Him by following His guidance in His Word and seeking Him first. You will see the good of the Lord, even when everything still looks gray…
Psalm 73:23-26 NLT
23 Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
As always, I welcome your thoughts. Please share in the comments below.