What would our life be like if we had someone who believed we were important enough to invest in?
Someone to come along side us in our journey of faith; a wizened traveler to help us navigate the mine fields of life; a trusted guide to help us scale faith’s rugged slopes and rejoice with us when we reach a peak.
Does such a person even exist?
So many of us long for a mentor who will help us make sense of life, of God. A confidant who’s slow to judge and quick to listen. Someone who won’t nit-pick our theology when we’re mid-meltdown. One who allows us to struggle through the fragile faith growing process–while encouraging us in it.
Oh, the supreme gift of someone of whom to safely bounce dreams, doubts, and fears! How many times I have wished for it, hoped and prayed for it.
And then God called me out.
“I’ve heard a lot about what you think you need, but what about those who need what I’ve given you?”
“What? But Lord, what do I have to offer?”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m myopic. I wade around in a pool of my hopes, my needs, my troubles and forget there’s life beyond my backyard—a whole host of people in need. I’m not talking about evangelism, orphans, and missions, most of us contribute something to help alleviate those needs. I mean the struggling Christians in our midst.
All around us they live and work and struggle—alone: That discouraged family member, that new Christian, that twenty-something fighting to hold onto their faith, that lone soul sitting next to us in church.
And we don’t see them.
But God sees and He wants to call us out.
Yeah, I know it seems overwhelming, too much, more than we can possibly juggle. Shoot, I barely made it through last week’s schedule, but I wonder what would happen if we came along side someone who needed encouragement. What if we had the courage to ask God to show us one person.
Not for a once or twice shoulder-pat-and-prayer, but someone for whom we will provide encouragement for a season. What a challenge.
What a privilege!
You can make a difference. It’s called mentoring and discipleship. Sounds intimidating. Seems time consuming, but you don’t need to set a formal schedule. You don’t have to be a professional counselor or need a theology degree. You don’t even need to buy a workbook.
You just need to be willing–
–willing to share your life and the insight God has given you. Whether you share in bits and pieces or chunks doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do it. Over coffee. At the park. On the phone. Whatever.
I know, because I’m doing it. And I’m reaping the unforeseen joys of:
- A new friendship
- Reenergized faith
- Spiritual growth in my own life
So, think about it. Or better yet, pray about it. Who knows? You just may be the answer to someone’s prayer.
What hinders you from investing in others?
Featured photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver