If we’re honest about it, life is not easy.
All of us have times when it feels like the world is against us and no matter what we do things will only get worse. We wait for the floor to fall out. We live terrified and alone, even if we are constantly surrounded by people.
As a child, there were maybe four bible stories I could remember well. Noah, though I missed the genocide. Jonah, but I usually got it confused with Pinocchio. Jesus being born, thanks to the 1970s “Christmas Story” book my family read every Christmas Eve. And then the one I actually learned in Sunday School.
It is the story of five friends who hear that Jesus is nearby. One of the five has a terrible, debilitating disease and is unable to walk, to care for himself, really to live any kind of normal life. But his friends find out this healer is in the neighborhood. They pick up their friend on his mat and carry him to see the man. One problem: there is such a big crowd waiting to see this same man that they can’t get anywhere close. Luckily, one of them was a ancient structural engineer. So they climbed up on the roof, cut a hole, and lowered their friend right into the room in front of Jesus. And you know what he said?
It is your friends’ faith that has made you well.
Even as a young child I knew that life would not always be simple or easy. There would be hard times. Challenges that seem too steep to overcome. Difficulties that appear to never end.
But I also knew, deep within my heart, that it is not just about our own personal faith. It is also about the faith that others’ have for us.
Sometimes it’s our family, our sibling, our spouse. Sometimes it’s our friends. And sometimes it’s a complete stranger sent by God to give you just what you needed.
None of us is ever alone.
Life can be hard, no doubt. It can all fall apart. And yet, God will always make sure someone is there with you helping to pick the pieces back up.
So here’s my advice, taken from my years spent in le paradis de Louisiana: when life gives you lemons, boil crawfish. Invite your friends. And somewhere in the doing, you will figure it all out.