Friday, August 25, 2006

feeling like the red cross

Do you ever feel like the "Red Cross"? Everbody comes with all their problems and hopes that you can give help and direction? How inadequate do you feel to meet their needs or answer their questions?

In the last 2 days, here I some of the people who have sought my guidance (talk about intimidating):

-a 23 year old newlywed (I did their wedding) who's parents both died in a car accident this week. She and her new husband will likely take custody of her 15 year old brother and she is trying to stay strong for her 18 and 20 year old sisters. She and her husband are trying to hold everything together and they have barely even begun to process their own grief.

-a young couple who have made some mistakes and are trying to get right with God. They wanted my opinion on what God wants for their lives.

-a wife and mother who is facing some huge decisions as she and her husband decide which direction their careers should lead them. She wanted to know, "What is the difference between asking God for confirmations, as opposed to testing God and treating him like a spiritual vending machine?"

-a ministry leader who is feeling overwhelmed with responsibility and the challenges of dealing with people's expectations. How can they find peace in the midst of inner turmoil?

-a husband who is desparately afraid that his wife is going to leave him.

All of these dropped on my doorstep within a period of a little more than 24 hours. Do you think I feel competent enough and filled with wisdom to provide all that these people need?

Absolutely not.

So what do you do when people come to you in times of crisis? Love them. Listen. Care about what they are going through. Provide balance and perspective to the issues they are facing (usually they are focused on only one side of the issue). And most importantly, trust the Holy Spirit to speak to them in ways that you cannot.

I usually pray, "God, I don't have all the answers. Please help me keep my mouth shut when appropriate, and to speak when necessary. And may the words from my lips be honoring to you and provide blessing and encouragement to the lives of those around me."