By: Heather Wolper
Sometimes life hits like a flood, covering land that was fertile and green with deep muddy water. The blooms and crops of harvest disappear beneath the weight of water and silt.
Bone numbing weariness sets in overwhelming the strongest of backs and the most resilient of workers.
Sometimes, these moments hit unexpectedly like a tsunami. They pull us under their weight as we struggle to figure out how to swim to the top.
Other times, rain falls day after day until the ground around us is so saturated that we can’t absorb anymore and we watch helplessly as the water rises.
These moments of overwhelming exhaustion, discouragement, weariness and grief come when we are in the trenches.
They come as we care for chronically ill family members day after day.
They come as we grieve the heart wrenching loss of a marriage, a child, a parent, a spouse, a friendship, a dream.
They come as we parent children with special needs.
They come as we grapple with the weight of mental illness.
They come as we encounter the sleep deprivation and exhaustion of caring for a newborn.
They come as we face the challenges of parenting without a partner to share the load.
They come as we worry day after day how money will come to make ends meet.
They come as we endure the oppression of a toxic workplace.
They come as we face a life threatening diagnosis.
And, sometimes they come without explanation.
If you are in the midst of a flood, you are not alone.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 43:17-18
If you love someone who is in the midst of a flood, reach out with a branch of encouragement or a rope to grab. Reach out with a hand of help or a life raft of relief.
If you are looking for practical ways to serve the soul weary, here are a few ideas.
Bring a meal with paper plates and plastic wear so there are no dishes to wash.
Take the children to the park or out to lunch so the house is quiet for a few hours and the children are fed.
Bring a gift card to a coffee shop, a nail salon or target and send her out to treat herself while you watch the kids.
Bring over a cup of coffee and help fold laundry.
Offer to come wash dishes and clean up the kitchen.
Give a gift card to a restaurant to go out to lunch with her spouse and watch the kids so they can reconnect.
Offer to have children over for a sleepover so she can enjoy a full night of sleep.
Hire a cleaning service or gather a group of friends to clean her house.
Offer to help transport her kids to activities.
Send a card with a gift card to a restaurant that offers carry out to use on a hard day.
Send a text of encouragement reminding her that she is doing a good job and that she is loved.
Pick or purchase a bouquet of flowers and leave them on her doorstep with a kind note.
Set up a care calendar to schedule help with meals, household chores and yard work.
Has someone reached out to you during a flood season in your life? What did they do that ministered to you? How can you pay their kindness forward? Do you know someone who needs encouragement today? Don’t be afraid to reach out.