The Power of Sharing the Common Struggle
As when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking, and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched . . . Isaiah 29:8
You are not alone. I understand what you’re going through. I know the struggle. There is tremendous power in those words. Struggling alone is exponentially more miserable than sharing a burden with someone who understands and has been there.
The issue, for most of us, is that we don’t want anyone to know about our problems. We think we are alone or we think we are the worst person in the world and thus, we prefer to keep our messes a secret. We may know that others can help, but our pride prevents us from reaching out, helping others . . . and ourselves.
When I read today’s passage, about the thirsty dream, I instantly connected with the author. I knew what he meant because I’ve had that dream many times. Sharing a common experience, instantly connected me to the one who wrote these words nearly three millennia ago. I understand because I’ve been there. I’ve had that dream a hundred times.
The ability to share a common experience is a powerful tool in our life struggles. Not everyone has had the thirsty dream, but everyone has trials that others are going through as well. We may think we are alone, but we are not.
When we are brave, humble and honest about what we wrestle with, we will be surprised to find others who understand exactly what we are going through. In confiding in each other, we help carry each other’s burdens.
In my drug addiction, I need to work through recovery with those who understand drug addiction. In my food addiction, I need others who struggle similarly to keep me accountable.
God made us to live in community, meeting with (perhaps only a few) others who need to go in the same direction we must go. We need to be humble and honest, encouraging others, as they encourage us to abandon our destruction in pursuit of God. He made us to find power in sharing our common struggle.