By Karen Boerger:
I’m sure there are plenty like me, who have had to shake off hard times, troubles, disappointments, anxiety, and discontent.
There isn’t always a quick way to solve problems. Life is going to shovel dirt on you: all kinds of dirt. But each trouble can be a stepping stone. What happens to you isn’t nearly as important as how you react to it. There is a good side to hard times – we grow stronger.
“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
I believe that God works all things for good (Romans 8:28ESV), even though at the time it’s not always understood. The following story of the donkey in the well explains it so well.
An old donkey was plodding around the farmyard when he inadvertently fell into a deep, dry well. He brayed forlornly for hours. The farmer finally heard him and couldn’t figure out a way to get the donkey up from the depths of the dark well.
As the poor donkey continued to bray pitifully, the farmer decided since the donkey was old, and there wasn’t a way to save him, it would be easiest to bury him. He asked his neighbors to help, so they all grabbed shovels and began heaping dirt upon the poor donkey’s back.
The donkey brayed even louder and more mournfully as the dirt hit him. But he soon quieted down and shook off the dirt as it hit him. As more dirt was shoveled upon him, he continued to shake it off and then step on it. Gradually the level of the dirt beneath him was high enough that he was able to climb out of the well that could have been his grave.
When I think back to my husband’s depression and risk of suicide I definitely can see the donkey’s story in my life. Ten years of battling depression is not easy. Both my husband and I had our own frustrations and setbacks to bear, but we both looked to the Lord for our strength. God was definitely a refuge in the day of our distress. May it be the same for you, my friend.
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. (Psalm 59:16 ESV)
It may be that going through your own difficult times may help you encourage (or perhaps even save) someone else later. In case you missed it, see our previous story: Suicide Intervention: One Teen Helps Another.
For help in talking things through, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.