I have an image that comes often to my mind when life is doling out an unusual helping of difficulty. You know when you feel like you are in a battle, you are doing all you can, and you find yourself in the trench? Overhead, arrows are flying and bills pile up and people that you love are sick or broken or hurting… And you feel sick and broken and hurting.
You barely know how to peek out, never mind contend, with all that comes at you.
We have all been in the trench. The danger of being here, is not what you are going through or even why. It’s that when you are in it, you compare how lousy things are next to everyone else’s seemingly easy life. From their little mountain, the birds chirp, the smoke billows from a BBQ, and the new car they bought, not only doesn’t break down, but brings all sorts of beautiful people who chat in sing songy voices while standing in their Jimmy Choo’s. (Okay, maybe that’s just what it looks like from my trench.)
Thankfully, God knows when to send in the Calvary.
When I am swallowed up with life, thick in the smoke of my emotions and circumstances, I can hear them coming. They are usually just a handful of foot soldiers. Each of them armed with their own special brand of wisdom, of discernment, of grace. Like being hooked up to an IV, they connect into my spirit and fortify what in me is running low. Drip by drip, they replenish me; they reset my attitude, they cause my sight to focus on what the real issue, the important thing, is. They settle me down before the flames can erupt and overtake me.
I call these my trench peeps.
We all have them. Usually the list is short. Maybe there is just one. But there is among each of us at least somebody on this earth that we think of when the chips are down and the air is heavy with alarm, dismay, or confusion. Who do you run to?
The thing about the trench - life - is that we are not intended to be alone it it. God intends for us to bear each others sorrows and burdens; to climb into and out of the trenches of others as they climb into ours. It is not intended to be comfortable or convenient. When someone is in it with you, you know that there is sacrifice and commitment. You know that there is love. They make you feel that there is no where else on earth that they would rather be in that moment.
In Exodus 17, Joshua is off fighting the Amalekites. Moses went to the top of a hill and raised his staff. As long as the staff was raised, Joshua and the Israelites were winning. But Moses’ hands grew tired. It is said that they brought for him a stone to sit upon. From there, with his hands raised, Aaron on one side and Hur on another, they supported his arms til the battle was over.
Thankfully we don’t have to do battle like in the days of Moses. But we do have our struggles, our good days and our bad. We have our times in the trench. And God sends us His chosen ones to come and help us hold up our staff in our weariness so that we can continue to fight our fight.
I guess what I have come again and again to understand, is that God can’t promise us that the battle won’t come. He just promises us that He will be in it with us. He will send us His provisions in the people who come to hold up our ams, to encourage us, to fortify us in big and little ways.
In the trench, we witness miracles.
I am grateful for those in my life who aren’t afraid to jump in the trench with me. They come through. They have my back. They are there and their love is unconditional. And from me, I pray they know they can expect the same.
They are the family who stands by you, the friends who stick close, the “Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, all you got to do is call” people.
Embrace them, cherish them, love them. They are the evidence of God’s faithfulness and love for us.
To all the trench peeps everywhere — Bless you, thank you, and I love you.
If you know of someone you would like to acknowledge today, forward this post and tag them. They are God’s special people.
And so are you.