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Earnest Counsel

If a friend will not take up your cause
Or risk their own comfort for your survival
If they leave you alone in distress
Only take from you what is easy and gainful
Won’t walk even the first mile in less than perfect weather
Best you know soon and walk on alone
Keep up acquaintance
But hold your heart and your secrets
For the true blue
Who love you in the good
Stand by when darkness threatens overhead
Friends to be trusted with the heart are so rare
When found
Lock arms and shelter
Give your best in their worst
Be all you desire in a friend
Even if someone you do right
Does wrong along the way
If you’ve given love’s treasures
They are sure to find the path back
Sow with reaping in view

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This is from my Facebook Page. Hope it encourages you.- Sherry

One of my friends shared a “status” today about the struggle of dark thoughts coming in to crowd out the desire to live, Even people who have amazing lives, great families and many reasons for joy, can have moments where leaving this life and going on the the next is an overwhelming struggle. The promise of heaven can be as much a temptation to depart this life for those who believe it will be exponentially better, as the doubt that it matters at all for those who do not believe in a meaningful afterlife.

For those who have placed faith in Jesus and who are looking for that blessed and eternal hope, the fact that sometimes dark thoughts come, and even the desire to be done with this life can seem horrible and sinful. I think many people hide in that place of struggle, and it is that fear of sharing the truth, that sometimes the darkness crowds in and presses strongly even against those who love God and have faith, that pushes some people to end their lives themselves or to linger for many years alone, in fear of admitting what they are dealing with.
I will openly say that I am familiar with that pressing darkness and it is not something to be ashamed of, but rather something to look to the Lord for and to be willing to acknowledge that, as they say, “the struggle is real”.

Here are the brief thoughts I shared with my friend this morning:

I think we all experience this feeling of darkness at some time. Even Paul said he wanted to live for the sake of others, but as for himself he would rather be done with life and go on to the next. Sometimes in spots, living feels more like dying as we lay ourselves down for the sake of those we love, when our own lives seem less worth living. As hardships come, and loss, and difficulty, it can seem that the small, fleeting pleasures of this life, even those that are amazing, like the dear love of a spouse and the treasures of a precious family, are very pale when dark moments cloud us and the longing for the next life, free of pain, can press in very strongly. I think God allows us moments or even seasons of feeling this way, so we will reach for Him in a deeper way, and lean into His arms of strength and compassion.

Yet, He does not want darkness or death to overtake us, nor for us to linger in despair or sorrow. He tells us to “be of good cheer” to remind us that He has already overcome this world and it’s sadness and wearisome toil. The time we spend both laboring and weeping here will be nothing in comparison to the eternal pleasures we will experience at His right hand!

If a wave of dark presses against our minds and taunts us with the false temptation that we should be the one to choose our own time to “change spaces” to the easier life that heaven allures us with, we know we must resist, for God alone determines the number of our days, and if He has us here on earth, it is for His purposes and glory, and our preparation to enter His presence.

If the dark thoughts come, better to be open and to share them with those who care and who can help us gain perspective and find ways to return to the joyful state God has created us to live in. When things remain hidden in the darkness, they cannot be healed and overcome, it is by living in the light, that we can be restored to truth.