My late Spiritual father, Richard used to tell me the way to grow and stay in purpose of God's work is to walk alongside someone the whole way when they're going through a difficult time in life. He cautioned me that it may be very tempting to quit because helping to carry someone else's burden is not easy. Going the whole way will not only help the person, it will change you.
Early in my walk with God, I had the blessing of a remote friendship with a woman who walked that journey with me. We communicated through handwritten letters. I was going through a very difficult time in my life and she lifted me up on those days when I felt abandoned and so beaten up that I almost could not stand up.
I was at a conference and the host was speaking to this woman and her husband. He mentioned something about their mission, but not their names. I heard what was said but was not concerned about it until a couple of days later. God impressed it upon my heart in a very strong way to find out who they are and to send them a donation. I had such a conviction about it that I had to call the organizor in the US to start the process of finding them. Eventually someone who attended the conference remembered who they were and gave me her name and her church's address. In obedience to God, I wrote a cheque with a note attached to it, explaining that I was instructed by God to do so. I felt a little sheepish doing it as I didn't really have anything else to add to my very short note.
About a month later, I received such a beautiful, warm, welcoming handwritten letter from Reverend Tina. She must have had a very strong spirit of discernment because she sensed something was wrong in my life and asked me about it. I don't know why I just didn't use the telephone to call her. It never occured to me to do so. I wrote her back and our friendship grew.
God used Reverend Tina in a mighty way for me. She would write letters to me when she felt I needed encouragement and prayer. I kid you not, her letters would arrive on the exact day that I badly needed uplifting. Everything she wrote was what I needed to hear. I would sit at my kitchen table and cry while I read her letters which always reflected the love that God had for me. Every scripture that she would write what was I needed to get through the next phase of what I was facing.
I eventually shared my email address with her so that she could reach me as she traveled. One day I received an email from her. She shared that she was rushing about at the end of the year to get all of her bookkeeping and receipts completed for the tax year before she flew out to her next mission. In the midst of all of the rushing, she had a constant call from God to pray for me. This is an excerpt from her email:
"I asked Father what to pray, and He gave me the words, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” This is Isaiah 41:10. And Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Also Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”
Whatever the reasons, our Father wants you to be assured that you are not to be afraid, because He is going before you. He will give you strength. And He will not fail you."
I replied to her email to thank her because each of those scriptures had a specific and profound meaning to me. I never received a reply from her. Instead, a few months later, the Executor of her Estate wrote to me to inform me that her husband passed away shortly afterwards and Reverend Tina went home to the Lord the day after her husband, a natural death.
Those scriptures helped me to stand up, very firmly in the coming months when I needed great strength. I saw the truth of each scripture fulfilled in my life overcoming what I was going through. God granted me victory.
Now I've learned the beauty and the blessing of walking alongside people as God directs me. When we are going through the deep valleys of life, it is not just for us to learn something, but it is also preparation to pay something forward to someone at a later time. This is one way God uses us to help others along the way.