Recently, while with friends, I expressed frustration about certain things that were happening in my life. I received what I am sure my friends thought was good advice on how I should get rid of my frustration. One friend counseled me to make sure I was in God’s will and that He really wanted me to do the “works” that I was about to embark on. Another friend suggested that perhaps I should read the Moments book I have just published to get some encouragement. I felt a little like Job.
I am sure my friends meant well as they attempted to provide encouragement in the midst of my frustration. In hindsight however, it is clear they were trying to tell me how to solve my problem, when what I needed in that moment was someone who would understand and listen. Debbie later suggested that what they did was try to give me a ladder to climb out of the pit I was in instead of climbing into the pit with me and drawing me out. There is a pretty big difference between these two. To pass someone a ladder is to say “here you go, this should solve your problem”, whereas climbing into the pit and drawing them out, is showing that you care. Now, I am not saying that caring is easy, but if you want to help somebody climb out of a pit, then you might just have to get your hands dirty, cause passing them a ladder might not work.