What I began learning at the end of that hard week, and am still in the process of learning is to intercede for people even in the midst of my trials. To intercede means to plead on another's behalf or to act as a mediator in a dispute. The word is often used a term for praying for other people. And although I'm learning the importance of that, I'm also learning to go beyond praying for them. I'm learning the importance of reaching out to them personally.
You see, I'm not the only one with problems. I'm not the only who is going through or has gone through pain. I'm not the only one who hurts, who gets depressed, who faces family challenges, work challenges, who lacks clarity, who struggles spiritually, who gets sick, etc. I am surrounded by hurting, broken people who can't walk their road alone. I'm surrounded by people who need a friend to come alongside, to listen, to share their pain. Even if I don't always know how to help them, sometimes they just need to know somebody else cares, that they're not forgotten.
Think about this. It is possible that for some reason, you are the only one who sees another's pain. Perhaps other people notice, but choose to ignore it. Or perhaps you're the only one a person has had the confidence and trust to share their struggles with. Perhaps you've just experienced something that allows you to understand what that person is going through. Don't assume someone else will talk to a hurting person. This really hit me personally last week when somebody said "You're the only person who asks me."
Sometimes it's hard to make the effort. It's hard to reach out to others and to listen when I'm bogged down in my own problems. I'm working through a massive load in my life right now, but there are a few individuals and families that I have had to be intentional about staying connected with. I've had to be intentional about showing them that I care about them too, and that I'm not just dumping my problems on them, which I can do very easily.
There are days where I feel like I have a right to my "down time". Some people like to just "veg" and recharge. Jesus needed down time too. He needed time away from His work and peoples' demands, but most often, He wasn't just sitting by Himself in a mountain somewhere. He was spending time with the Father and recharging by His strength. No, I don't know what He always prayed about, but I think He probably spent a good deal of time interceding for others. And after that, He went and served them again.
We all get worn out. We all have hard days and seasons where we just don't know how to keep going. Tenth Avenue North has a song called "Worn" which has really come to mean a lot to me personally the last couple months. It echoes how I have felt many days, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I encourage you to listen to it, and gather strength, knowing there's hope and this is not the end. Then look around for someone who needs your prayers and encouragement.