“If you hadn’t come along when you did,” Betty said, “I’d planned to go into the church office with a pistol and blow my brains out in front of the pastor and secretaries–to get even.”
“Betty” (not her real name) had hit bottom. She was recently divorced from an abusive man, was raising three children and a granddaughter alone, had a number of other problems, and nobody cared. Whenever she told other Christians about her difficulties, they backed off, as if she had some disease they might catch. Even the church pastors and counselors couldn’t see her any time soon. They wouldn’t even return her calls.
My wife Rahnella spotted her in this state at a women’s Bible study, sitting by herself, crying and looking quite angry. Rahnella launched a quick prayer, went over and put her arm around her.
“Why are you crying?”
“I’m alone, I’m hurt, I’m afraid, and nobody cares! So why don’t you back off, too!”
Rahnella enjoys a challenge, so she stayed and talked. In the course of their conversation, Betty shared that she couldn’t trust Christians any more. All they ever do is stab you in the back. One of her only friends had recently promised to take her to the Oregon coast on a mini-vacation for some R & R. Betty was desperately looking forward to it, but she just learned that her so-called friend had already left with another woman. She’d had it with Christians–and with God. This would be the last Bible study she’d ever attend. And then maybe she’d go end it all somewhere.
Well, Rahnella wouldn’t stand for that! She perceived that Betty was not only being run into the ground by the circumstances surrounding her life, she was also being hobbled by spiritual oppression, and needed someone to fight for her. She led Betty in prayer, and helped her combat the “spirit of suicide” that was urging her toward self-destruction. She helped her put on her “spiritual armor” as described in Ephesians 6. Then she said, “I’ve got some friends who own this great little cabin on the coast. Why don’t you and I plan a weekend there?”
Betty was stunned. “You’d do that . . . for me?”
“Sure, why not? I think we could both do with a good change of scenery!”
Two weeks later they were in Yachats, Oregon, just the two of them. Betty talked for two-and-a-half days. Rahnella listened. She didn’t apply any profound principles of advanced Biblical psychiatry. She simply came along side of Betty and walked with her through the depths of her despair–and out the other side.
Toward the end of their time together, after she told Rahnella about her now-abandoned suicide plans, Betty broke down and cried for a long time. As Rahnella was holding her in her arms, Betty said, “For the first time in a long time, I feel like God is holding me in His arms again, and that He’s going to take care of me.” Rahnella was God’s arms for Betty.
Betty is doing great now! Not only is she on top of her problems (instead of vice versa), she’s reaching out to others, like Rahnella reached out to her. That’s what it means to be the “Body of Christ”. We can all be His arms, His hands, His feet, His ears.
If we wait for the over-worked pastors and counselors to do all the work of the kingdom, it will never get done. Perhaps this “Let Pastor George do it” attitude explains why so many of the church’s walking wounded are looking for aid and comfort in places other than the church.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” said Thoreau. God wants you to be His arms today. He can’t wait around until the pros clear their schedules. In fact, He loves to work through ordinary people, just like you. “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things . . . so that no one may boast before Him.” (1 Cor. 1:27).
Jesus is the Living Water, and He has chosen you as a receptacle. You’re not as fragile as you might think. Go ahead: put yourself in a place where you might get bumped around a little. You won’t break–and there’s a good chance that some of that Living Water will slosh out onto those around you who are dying of thirst.
From: www.disciplemakersinternational.org. December 2014.
The above article, ‘God’s Arms’ was written by Chris Adsit. The article was excerpted from www.disciplemakersinternational.org
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, ‘Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.’