Have you ever been in a situation that seemed hopeless? No matter what you did it didn’t seem possible to get through what you were experiencing? How many times have you said to yourself, “I don’t know if I can ever see the light at the end of the tunnel?”
If you can answer any of these questions, you are not alone. Many times we experience bad situations and circumstances. Some of them we placed ourselves into, but many of them we had no control over. The past week my son has experienced both.
All last week, my son was extra “clingy”. All he wanted to do is hug my wife or I, stay with us wherever we went or wanted our attention. We had asked him to call one of his friends, but showed no interest. All he wanted to do is spend time with us and play his new video game. Whenever his older brother did something to annoy him, all he could do is yell and cry. As this is what happens a lot in our house, it didn’t appear that something else was bothering him. How wrong we were.
The other night, while trying to get my younger son to bed, he hugged me, said goodnight and I proceeded talk with my other son. After ten minutes of talking, my wife and I heard my younger son crying, whimpering. We thought he was lonely (and as he has done that in the past), we decided to confront the issue.
We asked what was wrong. At first, he said that he wasn’t sure about going on a trip this summer with me, his grandfather and cousin, but we both knew that this was just a surface complaint. He then said that he was having nightmares. We asked him to describe them and he proceeded to tell us things that sounded a lot like his new video game. My wife asked, “Is there something wrong with the new video game that is making you scared?” His immediate response was a resounding “no.”
We continued to inquire about his nightmares when he said, “In all my dreams people die. That makes me sad.” It didn’t take too long to put two plus two together. You see, we have a close friend that is dying of cancer. He has been a part of our lives for some time. When my son decided to get baptized, all he wanted was my friend there. My friend loves talking with my son and vise-versa. Every night at dinner, my son ensures that we pray for our friend.
My wife and I immediately recognized that our son was hurting for his friend. He knew that someday our friend would pass from this life into eternity, but now it was becoming a reality. My son asked for prayer and I didn’t hesitate. We prayed that our friend would become healed and that Jesus would hug our son so much that His very presence could be physically felt. We also prayed that God would reveal the protection He has around our son. It appeared that my son was better, but that was for a brief moment.
A few minutes after praying, he started crying again. My wife laid with him as he cried himself to sleep. My son had entered the cavern of pain and suffering. He had experienced the darkness within life. How was he to deal with such darkness? How was he, an 8 year old, to understand life and death? My son couldn’t see the light.
As my wife and I discussed this moment, we realized that God was doing a great work in his life. God was revealing Himself, once again, to a young boy, who is open to eternal matters. Although our friend is sick, he is a great testimony of what Christ can do in someone’s life.
Our friend came from a troubled upbringing, an abusive home and from the streets. He had gotten married to the love of his life, his best friend and started a life together. Was it perfect? No, but it was better than he had in his past. Many years later, his wife became sick with Alzheimer’s. He cared for her day and night.
While in the nursing home, someone told him about the love of Christ. It was at that moment that our friend dedicated himself to Christ and became His witness. While his wife was sick, he would give his testimony to both worker and patient in the nursing home. His life was filled with an inexpressible joy. He then understood the true meaning of life, the value of every individual in light of Scripture.
Ultimately, his wife passed away and he continued to tell his story. After a few months, he was having pain and was diagnosed with cancer. However, his joy never left. He and my son talk every so often about how Jesus loves us. He reminds my son that his love for others is a gift from God.
You see, my son, has the sliver of light with the darkness, Jesus Christ and knows it. No matter how dark our situations become, whether in sickness or depression, Jesus Christ gives us just enough light to trust him. Jesus reveals to us that our lives are dirty and have many problems, but we are not to focus on that. Jesus wants us to trust His light.
My son has been an encouraging testimony to me that even small children can have hearts bigger than Mt. Everest. He has shown that caring for others is more important than any video game we can play. In fact Christ has told us to care for others and my son is doing just that. He cares for our friend so much that he cries himself to sleep over the dark situation. Can we say the same? Can we say we cry ourselves to sleep over other people’s problems?
Both my friend and son have shown me that they have the sliver of light within the darkness. Turn to Christ and get His light. Then go and encourage someone today with your witness of what Christ is doing. God Bless.