What Happens When You’re Not Enough?

“Do you fight the good fight on a daily basis?” Yes. “Do you ever win a battle or two?” I do. “Can you handle it when you get your tail kicked?” Usually. “So, what happens when you’re simply not able to help someone you know needs the help?” Uhhhhh, well…

I’m not very good at accepting failure. I have a long habit of jumping into nearly every problem I engage in, despite the complexity and righting some quintessential injustice. At least that is how it appears in my mind. Some of these battles are purely principled and others embrace pragmatism. Either direction often affords me a win in the quantifiable sense.

Oddly though, most of those scenarios deal with man’s law. What of His laws and when they appear to be a punching bag for the weak? Even then, I can often dig and delve into scripture, seek context in quality commentaries, compare scripture against scripture with a few trusty study Bibles, and eventually land on high ground in terms of understanding and objective moral truth. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into the changing of another’s heart, and that grieves me to the core.

I have a struggle that I can’t seem to best. And I really don’t know how to help. I thought I did, but I was wrong. Yes, my ego was involved, but only to a smaller degree thankfully. I was heady enough to think I could talk, help, offer contextual scripture, be there as a sounding board, and more, in hopes my friend and brother would eventually recognize the error in his ways. I prayed he’d recognize the inherent problems with the approach his significant other was taking. I agonized over what this unhealthy series of events was doing to their child. And yet, I appear to have done ZERO to help. You might be able to make a case that I have succeeded in worsening the plight he and they face. I just assumed I could fix it, or at least help. But, I can’t always do that.

Frankly, I’m at the end of my rope. I’m all out of suggestions. Each time I engage it backfires and sometimes with collateral damage. I have nothing left to proffer. Or do I?

Long is the way and hard, that out of hell leads up to light.

-John Milton, Paradise Lost

Whatever is going to become of my friend isn’t up to me. I should go to my buddy via the Spirit, but precious little else. And frankly, I should simply default to prayer. There may or may not be much I can do while there is plenty the Spirit can do. Thus, I should pray always. I should lift my thoughts to the Light and never tire of doing so. This battle is arduous, but nothing good was ever won without pain and passion. If the Spirit works through me, great! I’ll wrap my arms around that possibility with humility. But if the Spirit was meant to arrive from another, I must pray and celebrate simultaneously.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

May we all be Salt and Light and may we not quench the Spirit.

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