Just a Step Away GFR
by Rev. Will. Harrison Jr.
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“Just a Step Away” or Just a Word or Deed or Event Away
Did you know that our world is literally filled with people whose lives are being lived in such a way as though they are “Just A Step Away”, or “just a word or deed or event away” from completely losing it, and going over the edge into flipping out, involuntary deep depression, panic attacks, suicide, murder, despair, addictions, etc. and so on. Even with medication, ministry, and support, this is still the case. And so very many of them do not even know just how close to the “edge” they really are, until it’s too late, and mighty is their fall. Then there are those who sort of know and can tell, but they are powerless to help themselves or anyone else. And we are way too mercilessly harsh with them and have way too high demands and expectations on them. With all of the self-help “stuff” mankind on the earth has come up with, the rate of the number of people quickly drifting into this man-eating-arena is way faster than any “program” could ever even come close to keeping up with. Yes, I am most certainly saying that with mankind on the earth, there is no hope for far too many. Nothing permanent. Not down here.
Maybe you haven’t seen any or known of any, or maybe you have. Or maybe you haven’t seen or known of that many and maybe you just don’t believe that there are that many who are living day to day that close to the “edge” and are literally just one event, one stressful moment, one failure, one loud noise, one day of no food, away from totally giving up and with no one at all in their life to help them. No Hope, in their minds. And too many times there are those there to help who either don’t know what to do or their “help” is rejected by the hurting person, in their despair. No one either that they can bring themselves to believe that can or would even want to help them. Such an indescribable feeling of aloneness and rejection and abandonment from all mankind, real or even perceived.
I personally know what that kind of despair and loneliness is. It actually defies description, but describe it I do here try. It can get so “ugly” for the “victim” of their particular life circumstances that they ache and cry out and excruciatingly painfully cry-out and die-out for someone to be close to them and touch them and caress them and then when someone does, the wounded soul can’t handle it and actually ends up un-intentionally giving the person trying to help, a message to leave them alone. It’s not a whole lot different than a person who is in terrible grief over the loss of a loved one, even a pet who may have been the persons only perceived “friend”, and they sob or weep uncontrollably yet refuse to be comforted. [ We even read about this in the Bible in the life of Jacob and Hannah, and others] They really don’t want to or mean to refuse the comfort, they just don’t know how to “manage” or get-a-grip-on their pain at the moment.
And of course, very very sad to report, as so many of you know all too well, there are those who arrogantly and pompously convince themselves that they not only know what the problem and cause is but they know precisely what the person really needs. [ read the Book of Job in the Bible ] “Not every wound needs the bite of alcohol every minute and not every cheek turned needs the other one slapped as well” [ whjr ] And so very very many of these un-qualified helpers and comforters are well intentioned and well meaning and literally do not seem to have a prideful or pompous motive, but their actions and words still end up feeling the same way. Either group we can feel sorry for as well. On behalf of so many on both sides of this gut wrenching issue is still the point that none of us really know what to do, or not to; or what to say, or not to; or when or even why or why not to, in far too many situations. Only Jesus the Son, and God the Father and the Holy Spirit, know precisely what to do and how, when, where, and why. It’s His department and his honor and privilege as the living source of love.
But nevertheless, we all must try, if we are able, if we are willing, if we will give out of our bounty of means, if we will just be quiet and not preach, or teach, or lecture, or even un-intentionally give guilt trips, nor even try to understand, nor try to counsel, not prophesy if we don’t really have one to give, and simply just “Be-There”. And until you’ve “been-there” [ on either end ] you don’t know how incredibly difficult and seemingly impossible it can be to help yourself, or “pull-your-self-up-by-your-own-boot-straps”, or other mantra’s we dish out like platitudes. [ I know what it feels like to have my boot straps break off ] We just don’t want to believe that there can be such a “state” so debilitating that we cannot “help ourselves” and must call out and reach out to others, especially to God to do the helping for us. This gives us beloved friends, a small taste of what it will be like for those who end up in eternity away from Heaven and the place of God’s Sweet presence, forever.
Many of these folks I’m referring to are one or both of our elderly parents, [ my own Dad passed away in this manner and I not only wasn’t able to “be-there” for him, but he was so hard and bitter and rejected he no longer wanted anyone nor cared if anyone was there]. I myself know what it’s like to not want to die but not want to live this way either. Many of these people are someone’s son or daughter or brother or sister, or husband or wife, who has either never had a healthy connection to their parents or family or loved ones, or they did and now it’s gone. Maybe they believe it’s just too late or it’s no use & maybe it really is.
They are “out-there”, even all around us, many millions of them, even all over the world. Did you know that most people either don’t want to know that fact personally, nor do they want to even hear about it, nor do they want to believe that it’s true. There are also a great many people who either refuse to believe or just don’t know how indescribably horrifying the despair and coldness can be. Or they criticize all of those in need because of the conduct of some. The Bible says that whoever refuses help a person in need, will one day themselves be in need and there may be no one for them. Be forewarned, it could happen to you.
We don’t want to allow anything to enter our eyes or our ears that would “bum-us-out” and make us sad and distracted from our personal pleasures or enjoyments. No, that is not necessarily always some kind of sin or crime, but all too often for many it is. Especially those who not only have been so “blessed” with the oil of gladness and a reasonably OK life, at the moment, but also those who refuse to allow themselves to be around or be exposed to those I’m talking about. People who will work hard at making sure they are never around “those kinds of people” in abject misery. Especially those who have been greatly blessed by God in their finances and material lives and so forth. God is watching and waiting to see if you’ll share.
I know full well myself, even having been in those situations before, just how horrible of a thing it is to not want to be around someone like that or be exposed to the kind of circumstances they have to “live” with. They themselves don’t like it. No one likes it. No one was ever even meant to exist that way, period, let alone “like-it”. But we are to not only share of our blessings with others, but share in their sorrow and grief.
Thank God for those who are so equipped by God so that they can handle being around those hurting dying souls and not be drawn into their pit of despair. Not be so bummed out by what they see these other “people-originally-made-in-the-image-of-God” dying to be close to him, and to you or to someone, having to endure. So bummed out and distracted that they can’t enjoy life or even a meal, or sleep well at night. Thank God for those who do and have and will “be-there”, as representatives of the care and compassion and mercy of Jesus and the Father. Many of us would have never ever made it as long as we have, or been able to be kept away from the dark side of a jail cell, or away from the desolate desperate chains of addictions to drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, homosexuality, witchcraft, the occult, and so very many other heartless bondages to “pleasure”.
If you personally do not feel you can do anything, that maybe you’re too afraid, too easily stressed out over the sufferings of others, [that’s a good sign by the way], or in some way just not one of those people who are “there” to help others, then pray for them, weep over them, give money to the causes that really do help people like this, such as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and the Volunteers of America, and other similar ones. There are literally many dozens maybe hundreds around the world. Including in our Spiritual Homeland, Israel. And do so as though you wish you could be there, as though you really were there, and as the Bible says to “weep with those who weep, and also rejoice with them that rejoice”. Think about them often, and ask the Lord to inspire your mind and heart as to exactly how to pray for them. Even dare to ask the Lord to send one of them to you that he would personally select that would be compatible with where you are as a wanna-be-helper, so it does not become a bad experience. He will, you’ll never be the same. You’ll want to again.
This time of year from now through Thanksgiving till New Years are the time of greatest need, and greatest despair, especially in America, and the time when most suicides take place.
I personally thank God, again and again for hunting me down and locating me and getting it through to me that he was seeking me and calling to me to come to him, visit with him, unload my cares and worries and fears to him, and allow him to lift them from me, even if temporarily, even if less than before, even if there may still be those I have to contend with for awhile. If I can do so with Him around, and even inside my tormented heart and soul, it will be way far and above better then if I never did have him, I know……………
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