Authentic

When You Are Stranded, Help Offered Is Accepted Gladly

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, claims that being stranded in the field is like having your eyes full of sand and both arms twisted behind your back. You can’t see straight or get untangled from the web of circumstances holding you captive. It isn’t agreeable to a person to need help, but there are times you accept it gladly.

I had told Ed, when he called that I was rereading Westerns by Louis L’Amour and that being stranded in gun fights, in the wilderness or desert, makes for a good story. Ed said it is interesting to read about getting stranded, but it is no picnic when it happens in life. “At least,” he said, “Most times being stuck in the field or beside the road does not last for days or weeks like in the westerns.”

Cars on the road and tractors in the field can and do quit on us. We can get stuck in snow drifts and slide off icy roads into the ditch. One never knows when a flat tire will show up to shut us down. Here in BC traffic can keep you stranded, bumper to bumper, for hours on the highway because of an accident or construction. Being stranded can be particularly grim when it is long term.

There is being stranded in endless poverty, addictions to drugs or alcohol, blindness, deafness, family strife, chronic disease or pain, etc. When we see others, we may never know how or where they are stuck and burdened. Sometimes we can give some authentic help to those needing help, but only God can help people pass through the traps and crippling circumstances of life.

Author Keith Miller shared this story of a woman in her own words; “When I was a tiny little girl, my parents died, and I was put in an orphanage. I was not pretty, and no one seemed to want me. I longed to be adopted and loved by a family, as far back as I can remember.

But then one day the head of the orphanage told me that a family was coming to take me home with them. I was so excited that I jumped up and down and cried like a baby. The matron reminded me that I was on trial and this might not be a permanent arrangement. So, I went with this family and started to school. I was the happiest little girl you could imagine, but one day a few months later, I skipped home to find my battered suitcase with my little coat thrown over it in the front hall. As I stood there it suddenly dawned on me what it meant: I didn’t belong there anymore. Not belonging happened to me seven times before I was 13 years old. But wait don’t feel too bad. It was experiences like these that ultimately brought me to God. There I found what I always longed for, a sense of belonging, a forever family.”

Christ calls out to those stranded in loneliness. He invites everyone to come to him to receive rest for their souls, when they are stranded in rejection, sin, and circumstances beyond their control. Jesus gives unconditional love and acceptance to those who want to be rescued.

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Raymond Maher
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