When I was growing up I could not wait to get to my grandmother’s house after church not just because I knew she would have the table set with a delicious Sunday meal but there would be the Sunday paper laying beside my Papa’s chair. I would pick up that paper and go straight to the comic section. On the front page would be Peanuts. It never failed that as football season was beginning the familiar cartoon of Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football would be in print. Of course, we knew what would happen in the story. Lucy would have the football in her hand and would summon Charlie Brown over and would convince him to get a running start and kick the ball. Yet, we knew the end result would be Lucy pulling the ball out from under Charlie Brown and Charlie would land flat on his back.
In recent weeks, I can relate to Charlie Brown’s yell at God. My yells have been; “how long, Lord?” ” what else God?” and “why?” There have been moments of recent when I have thrown my hands in the air and said; “Good grief!”. I am reminded of what God tells us in regards that he will not give us more than we can handle. I have continually repeated the quote; ” I just wish God wouldn’t trust me so much!” as I try to work through all that life is dishing out at me at the moment.
There are moments in life where we have our plan all set up. We are ready to get that running start to tackle all those things we want to do. Yet, the realities of life take place. The ball is pulled out from under us. We land flat on our backs. We get up and start again and just like season after season with Lucy and Charlie Brown the football, we go for that running start then “wump!” it seems we are right back laying on the ground wondering how much longer and/or how much more.
I mentioned earlier that I have had experienced this scenario in recent weeks. Yes, I have thrown my hands up in the air. I have cried and yelled at God. After the yelling, crying and throwing the hands up in the air, I am reminded of who I am. I am a Daughter of the King. He is right there with me. I am reminded that this is a part of his refining me into becoming more like him and his image.
Not only am I reminded that I am a Daughter of the king, I know that I am blessed with another family outside of my immediate family. This family includes two small groups, a loving church family along with loving friends from my childhood I have re-connected with on Facebook. It is their messages, phone calls, cards and the knowing that they are praying for me, my family and the situation that helps me stand back up on my feet again. They are there to stand by not only me but they are standing by my family as we walk through a valley along with the Prince of Peace. It is in knowing that I have this loving extended family that I experience a peace that surpasses all understanding.
At this moment you may have just had the football pulled out from under you and you are asking God how much longer or you are throwing your arms in the air saying; ‘Good grief!”. If you are in this situation, I pray that you are a part of a loving extended family that can walk with you through the valley. I do know God’s Son is on the journey beside you. All you have to do is acknowledge His presence and allow Him to walk with you and stand by you.
You may know someone who is walking through a valley right now. It may be you are wondering what you can do for them. The first thing to do is PRAY. Pray for this dear person, their situation and all those who are involved in the situation. Let them know that you are there along with Christ standing by them and walking with them through this valley. It is one thing to say you are praying for them and thinking of them but put action behind those words. You can do this by sending a card, calling and seeing if there is anything you can do to lighten their load. It may mean going to the hospital to relieve a family member so that they can get some needed rest.Let them know it is okay to cry, it is okay to be angry and it’s okay for them to be feeling what they are feeling at that moment. It may mean that you just simply need to wrap your arms around them and allow them to weep. In other words, it is important to stand by them.
One of the greatest love letters in the bible is the book of John. In John 15:12-13 we are reminded the importance of friendship and helping one another out when one is walking in a valley:
Love each other as I have loved you. This is what I am commanding you to do.
The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your friends.
Yes, Lucy could be pretty mean to Charlie Brown. Yet, when it came down to the surface of it all, Lucy was there to listen to “Chuck”. In the end, she reminds him not to give up and she stands by him as a friend. It is important to remind those who are having the ball pulled out from under them to never give up and that they have a loving God who has blessings in store even in the valleys of life.
To my friends and family, know that when the ball gets pulled out from under you, I am there for you. I’ll Stand By You and the Prince of Peace is standing by you, too.