Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Baby birds and butterflies

I'll get to the baby birds and butterflies, but first some things that have been floating around in my mind the past few days. Ryan sent us a very heart-wrenching letter (when he was sick) that made me want to jump in the car, drive down and get him and bring him home. Part of me knew this was a bad idea and another part of me didn't care! I wanted to fix things for him...make them better. I didn't like watching helplessly as he struggled.

Yesterday, I came across a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (imprisoned for his Christian faith and eventually executed by the Naz*'s).
"Let him who cannot be alone beware of community."

I found it to be a very thought-provoking statement. As I pondered it, I thought of those I know who cannot stand to be alone. Ever. And they want others to free them from ever having to experience loneliness.

I remember reading once that when you are enduring a trial, your friends can be with you for comfort, but ultimately, they have to go home to their own families and you will be alone. Even within our own families, there will be a point when we have to struggle with our own thoughts and feelings apart from them. God is the only one who will be standing with us. Jesus modeled this for us in the garden of Gethsemane when he left his three closest friends and went apart from them a ways to be alone with God.

We need to learn to do this. It's called maturity. God is the sustenance we need. He is our only true source of strength and help. He will often send friends along to help, but ultimately, it is our responsibility to develop a relationship with Him that will sustain us in the worst of moments. God knows we desperately need this and sometimes He will force us to this point so that we learn to depend on Him.

Here is the baby bird and butterfly part...
Baby birds struggle to break out of their eggs and butterflies do the same to get out of their cocoons. If they could talk, I'm sure they would be begging every passerby for help. And who could turn away from so pitiful a sight? There have certainly been well-meaning people who tried to help, and in doing so, doomed those little creatures to certain death. The struggle makes them into the creature they were created to be. Without the struggle, they will never reach their potential and life expectancy.

It is so very hard to watch a friend or family member struggle. If you love your friend, come alongside but keep pointing them to Christ...their only true source of help and strength. Your friendship is not a substitute for their own relationship with God.

On the flip side, there are many who prefer to be helped beyond what is good for them.


Sheila Walsh, well-known speaker is quoted as saying:
"Those who cannot be alone with themselves expect others to be their lives, and no one can do that for another human being.
There are so many weak, malnourished believers who have never grown in Christ. What happens when they are in community? You have a room full of needy children who are expecting someone else to help them make it through this life, who have no skills to enable them to resolve conflict and nothing to give to others... We are all called to stand up and be who we are in Christ."

Let's not be dead weight. Let's spend the time we need to with God, developing our relationship with Him so that when the tough times come, we will be able to stand tall, strength flowing from the One who is the source of all Strength.


trustandobey said...

Excellent and true!!

Tesseraemum said...

Awesome. Excellent lesson for all parents too!

Kathleen said...

This is exactly what God has been teaching me throughout this last year and it has been so HARD....Yet so amazing at the same time.

Having open heart surgery with Christ is never easy but I have grown so much in Him!! The Lord has taught me so much about myself through his deep love and compassion for me. To be daily found in Him is my new focus:) It does bring change to your life when you take this step with Christ, but the blessings are beyond measure.

Donna said...

Thanks for the timely post.

Kristin Ferguson said...

Yes! Someone once told me to "Go to the throne...not to the phone!" It has stuck with me ever since. :)


James, Dawn and Family said...

Thought provoking! It's a great lesson for us as adults too.Thanx

Waitingfaithfully said...

Excellently said! Thank you Karin!

Blessings ~


Adeye said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE it, my friend. Standing firm and running the race with perseverance!

Still learning.

Lori said...

That's really good, Karin. You are sooo right! I am hardly ever alone, as in, no one is physically around...but I do often feel all by myself during the day homeschooling the kids (yes, even when it's totally chaotic) and I feel this strong need to email or call someone. What you wrote was a great lesson in FIRST leaning on the Lord and realize that we are NEVER truly alone and that He is the best companion ever.

Marmee said...

I loved this so much I read it aloud to my daughters. Thank you!

Dana said...

Oh you know I'm RIGHT there with ya! But I was louder and probably LESS lady like. ;) LOL

Oh our time is precious with Him and I wish I hadn't wasted 30 years to figure that out.

sara said...

such a good post Karin...I am just now getting over here...last week was a bit rough. Anyway, for someone like me who does not like to be alone, this was a lesson that God had to teach me over and over.

Good words, my friend.