I recently touched base with a young man who I have mentored and helped the past couple of years. Our contact and interaction isn’t as frequent as it once was following a move, but we stay in touch. When I first met him, he was in jail and he has made significant progress since then. While he continues to move forward, one foot in front of the other, the reality is that his progress is a slow and steady plodding with plenty of challenges and setbacks along the way.
I was talking with another man who I walk through life with as he battles addiction and personal heartache. He was describing the intense battle he was in as he was tempted and lured into what he knew would be destructive. He slips and falls, but gets back up and keeps moving forward, one foot in front of the other.
We wish there was a “zap” to fix things, and occasionally there is. More often than not, however, it is a journey of perseverance towards freedom. Even the “zap” come with limitations on the healing and transformation they bring; we are left with work to do in the wake of our miracle.
The reason for that is that we are not called not only to healing, but to relationship. Relationships are meant to be walked out and explored, not just beneficial. While the relationship we are called to which brings Healing and Hope is everything we could possibly want in a relationship, it is a relationship just the same. We simply are not designed to do this on our own.
Relationship comes with the figuring it out. It includes the acceptance of circumstances that are difficult without jumping ship. The Joy of the relationship is still available in the trials we endure while relating. The invitation to press on and press in is one which is extended through the offering of a nail-pierced hand to hold as we walk through the difficulties as well as the glories of this life.
The value of the Eternal relationship is reflected in temporal relationships. We don’t just try to fix each other for the sake of benefit; we walk and relate and support and encourage. As we walk out life with others, we enjoy the moments of Victory as well as the satisfaction of perseverance in the trials leading up to Victory.