“A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (Proverbs 17:17)
Musk oxen, pictured above, work as a team, a family, to ward off predators. The musk oxen dwells in the Arctic tundra, and are large-horned, bushy cattle. When they’re attacked by a pack of wolves, the musk oxen make a circle, with their horns facing out. Staring down hundreds of pounds of solid muscle and sharp, curved horns, the wolves have their work cut out for them if they had their sights set on oxen stew for supper.
Large numbers of animals survive by travelling and hunting in groups, or packs. It’s not only harder to attack a herd as opposed to a lone creature, but the pack also benefits from multiple family members keeping a sharp eye—and ear—out. (Biocyclopedia, “Group Defense,” https://biocyclopedia.com/index/general_zoology/group_defense.php)
Similarly, soldiers not only benefit from individual and group strength for offensive and defensive maneuvers, but use their particular giftings and talents to help each other.
Seems to me the devil has been working overtime, trying to make us feel isolated, alone. We see this across the board, in everything from consumers electing to shop online instead of going to the store, to many choosing to hide in their homes in fear of contracting COVID. One of the primary strategies the armies of darkness seem to be utilizing in trying to isolate us, though, is the social media “I’m fine” mask.
Allow me to explain.
When was the last time you saw a Facebook post that said, “Hey guys, not doing well today. I’m up 11 pounds and feeling like a fatty!” Or maybe, “Wow, super depressed today! Feelin’ like a frickin’ loser, man! Nobody likes me.” Oh we see posts like this every now and again, for sure, but it’s rare.
For the record, I’m not proposing we all post EXACTLY what’s on our minds. Stick with me and let me flesh this out a bit, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
What we see are newsflashes about new cars, job promotions, seemingly perfect children or grandchildren, or pics on the beach. Again, NOTHING wrong with any of these, but the problem begins when others start to see us as having some kind of “perfect” life.
I’ve shared this before, but a good friend of mine once sent me an Instant Message which said, “You see the picture of that perfect couple, arm-in-arm, standing in front of their swimming pool, in front of their perfect house? Yeah, don’t believe it. We’re on the verge of divorce and can’t hardly stand to be in the same room anymore.”
Thankfully, the Lord restored their marriage, but wow, what a revelation.
Ever had a thought like this?
“I know people don’t suffer pain like I do, right?”
“When it comes to depression, I guess I’m a loser because I just can’t seem to shake it, right?”
“I’m the only LOSER WEIRDO who can’t leave their house because my anxiety is so bad, right? But I can’t tell others because they’d think I was some kinda freak.”
Listen carefully; thousands, MILLIONS are suffering in similar ways. Just because someone APPEARS perfect does not mean they are. On the flipside, just because someone SEEMS to be suffering much worse than you does not invalidate YOUR pain, ok? I talked to a dude the other day who’d suffered FIVE back surgeries. I’ve “only” had two surgeries, so does that invalidate my pain? Does that negate my right to HURT?
You need to find like-minded individuals with whom you can share your deepest thoughts and feelings. You need to VENT, and you need people to tell you, “I know it’s hard, and I can’t fix your situation, but I’m here for you, and I love you.”
One such family of people can be found in my Facebook group for Christians suffering from chronic physical and/or emotional pain, Broken People – Mended Spirits. I ask my “broken” family to be brutally honest with their feelings. There is NO shaming, only love and prayers.
That’s what you need.
Please note, this is just one example. I make no money off this group (or this blog), so this isn’t a commercial. I’m trying to help.
“Continue to love each other with true brotherly love.” (Hebrews 13:1)
It is imperative we stick together as brothers and sisters. If someone in your inner circle makes you feel worthless in some way, do your best to separate yourself from them. I understand sometimes this is impossible, which is why, in those cases, it’s vitally important you begin to tell yourself a few things:
“Just because a close friend of family member thinks negatively about me doesn’t make it true.”
“Only I can control the feelings I have about myself. I should never give anyone else that power.”
“I need to get to the point where I see their hateful and hurtful judgements as complete CRAP, complete nonsense.”
This is coming from a brother who cares. It matters not how you look in comparison to someone else, you are still beautiful. How do I know? Because God created you, and as the old children’s saying goes, “God don’t make no junk.”
Stop isolating yourself and find your own pride of lions to run with. Locate your own herd of musk oxen, and begin to relish in the love and protection of family. This isolation thing is gonna kill ya.
Love you guys; prayin’ for all of you!