Written By Olivia Ow, Singapore
Have you ever encountered an episode where your best friend refuses to share with you what she was going through? Her reason is that she feels you are not mature enough to cope with the truth. I get very offended when I hear that and my tirade begins.
What do you mean I am not mature enough?
How would you know?
Please share with me.
I want to know.
I need to know.
I am your best friend, right?
Don’t we all want friends who can hear us out? Maybe I can help?
To find out what was bothering my friend, I made effort to become more “mature.” I read more books, thinking what I read would help me better handle and manage problems. Eventually, my curiosity was satisfied. She told me her secret.
But I was devastated. I couldn’t accept what she was going through. Why was she put through so much sadness because of another person’s wrongdoing? I became very angry with the people who caused her pain. I wished they would stop hurting her and pay the price for doing so. I could not bear seeing my friend suffer from such injustice.
In my attempt to help her, I resorted to openly or subtly telling my friend what to do so that she can better protect herself from being hurt. Some of it may have been good advice to consider, but others went against God’s teaching to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:44). I discovered that instead of being a friend, I’ve tried to play God. Thankfully my friend was wise to discern which advice to heed, and which to reject.
I also struggled internally. I was angry and disappointed that I couldn’t do anything to help my friend. I should have left the secret alone because it was way more than I can deal with.
But later on, I realized there was in fact one thing that I could do: pray for her. While it may have seemed like a very small thing to do on my part, it was in fact the most powerful thing because God can do what I can’t. He can bring her out of her distresses and calm the storms (Psalm 107:28-30). He is all wise and loving. He would know what is best for my friend and for those who have hurt her.
And sometimes, after praying, God would show me other things I can do and enable me to do them with a right attitude. Although it was a challenging experience overall, I thank God for putting me through it.