Testing times are called so, for they ‘test’ us. Why else would one call them ‘testing times’?
To me, Jesus Christ was more a human than God. Yes, my Christian faith makes me believe that He was ‘Son of God’. But, then, what about you and me? Whose sons and daughters are we?
So, every time I seek inspiration from Jesus Christ, my Hero, I seek it seeing Him as a real human just like you and me. Yes, He touched and healed others… walked on water… gave sight to the blind… cleansed lepers and the sinners… even brought dead men to life. But, when it came to His own life, He dreaded, lost all His courage… was left torn and tormented just as how you and I would in testing times… That’s why, from the Cross, right from the pit of His acute agony, He cried out loudly, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Come to think about it!!!
Two of my most favorite hymns/songs are about surrendering to God’s will in our times of trial, and they both talk about ‘surrendering to Jesus’! Every time I find myself helpless and, what seems like, at the end of my road, I recall the painful cry of Jesus from the Cross… Feel Him totally… and, as I do that, I find the courage to live… yes, even in death!
To me, there is only one God… the God we all worship in different names. So, when we all cry out like Jesus did – ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ – we all are seeking help and grace from the same Merciful Creator… Aren’t we?
Neena*, a dear friend of mine, who lives in America with her family, has been a regular follower of my blog posts. She and her husband had to go through – and they are still going through – their testing time. It revolves around their young son, Prayash, who has been going through an extremely low phase in his life. Obviously, the parents were anxious and worried and did every possible thing they could to help the young man recover. Many times, they saw light at the end of the tunnel… but, when they reached there, they would only feel disappointed and heart-broken. I could empathize with their situation and had encouraged Neena, in my own way, not to lose hope. For last two months or so, I did not hear from Neena. And, early this morning, I sighted this message from her…
Hi Gerry, a lot of chaotic happenings in the last few weeks, since I sent you the last update.
Prayash (Neena’s son) is not doing well at all. We were worried about him before… Now, we are terrified about losing him. Last weekend was his 18th b’day… He talked about ending his life. We had to call the crisis hotline and get a mental-health police-officer to come home and calm Prayash and assess his mental state-of-mind…
Our child is not able to be happy, perhaps… He has no self-love or self-respect! He is hurting himself a lot and we are hurting ourselves with him, for him. We spent his b’day with a very heavy heart.
Della (their dog), too, is feeling the grief in our family now. She is withdrawn and not energetic as she usually is. Milind (Neena’s husband) and I are starting to explore aggressively what our next step should be. We have some ideas which we are exploring; but, it might take a few weeks for us to feel certain and have more clarity that is right for Prayash and for us…
I will share more once I know more. In the meantime, please keep praying… Gerry, can you please pray for Prayash? We are desperately praying for him to heal.
Which Deity did Neena, a devout Hindu, want me to pray to? That’s the beauty, strength and power of a sincere cry – I call it the cry from my Cross. I could only think of two hymns/songs that I always took shelter in during my own testing times... and I immediately shared them with Neena, adding this note:
“Dear Neena, keep in your heart the Deity you are closest to as you soak in these hymns/songs...
That’s the best prayer I could pray for my friend’s family.
*All names changed
Pic.: Anil Bedi