God over Google // 上帝勝過Google
Janice kept turning to the internet for help when she really should be asking God Himself.
Whenever something goes wrong or not according to plan in my life, the first thing I turn to is Google.
I’d type into search box:
“How to deal with stonewalling…”
“How to fix a broken window…”
“How to plant herbs at home…”
“How to treat sun burns…”
Now, the internet can definitely be a great thing. It can be a great resource, a place for those to share experiences and information. You think you’re an expert at something or have gone through experience of some kind… share it with the world in a forum, a blog article or even a Facebook post. Especially in recent years, my newsfeed as well as my daily reading materials seem to be inundated with lists made by this writer or that scientist gathering facts about how to live life and handle relationships with friends and loved ones.
I’m just scrolling through my newsfeed right now and here are a few articles that have popped up:
“15 Signs You’re With a Loser…”
“20 Signs You’re Succeeding in Life, Even if You Don’t Think You Are…”
“16 Things You Need to do to Live Life Without Regrets…”
“10 Habits Healthy Couples Have…”
“5 Things You Should Know About Introverts…”
Reading through these self-help articles can make one feel almost as though they have a handle on life and relationships. That if they just follow these things, everything will come out peachy and swell.
I especially turn to them when I am in need. When I don’t know how to tackle a problem, a relationship, an event, I seek Google to guide me on how to respond.
I was doing this very thing just the other day after I heard that a dear friend is grieving over a sudden death of a loved one. This friend is very special to me so I wanted to behave just right so that this friend will feel safe and comforted when chatting with me. So that this friend can open up if so desired but also can use me as a distraction to not think about the pain and hurt. I wanted to be the perfect friend to this hurting bereaved. So I went on Google and typed up “How To Support Someone Who is Grieving”. Many articles popped up.
One article told me to reach out and support them and to make sure they know you’re there if they need it.
After reading that, I sent my friend a text asking them out for an outing later on in the week. That friend didn’t respond so I panicked, worried that I may have pushed that friend to hang out too soon.
I read another article that told me to give the bereaved space to grieve alone.
So I sent another text telling this friend that there is no need to respond to my message and if space is what is needed, we don’t have to hang. My friend still didn’t respond so I panicked even more thinking I had done something wrong and now this friend is upset or annoyed with me.
I read a third article advising me to suggest taking up simple tasks and errands for the bereaved as a way to show you are there and you care without overburdening them.
So I called up my friend asking if I could help bring over some groceries. That was shut down with a prompt “no.”
Now by this time, I was starting to get very distressed. Thoughts flooding into my head about how I can’t navigate being a good friend in times of crisis and I was starting to get really confused and anxious.
It was then when God suddenly popped into my head and said, “Hey! Wait one second here, did you ever think to ask me what you need to do during this time?”
I realized no, I hadn’t.
I hadn’t asked God for His advice during this entire time I was stressing. All I wanted were concrete words written by my fellow men to help me behave or act a certain way during this period. A thought here or there flickered through my brain suggesting I should probably have a chat with Him seeing as after all, He is the Creator and the Lord of my life but those thoughts were quickly dismissed with excuses of how it would take too long or the answers I hear won’t be concrete enough. All in all, asking God for the answer seemed much harder than asking Google.
But since when has anyone ever said the Christian life would be easy?
In Matthew 16:24: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’”
In my current scenario, it means more than ever to forego the easy-to-search solutions from all these “How To” manifestos that I read and really delve deep into the character of Christ and of God to find out how to follow Him in the best way possible through my interactions with my friend. I really needed to ask how I should behave so that I can be the best representative of a follower of Christ in the eyes of my friend, other people, and more importantly Christ Himself.
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
- Galatians 1:10
God answered me, “Pray for your friend.”
Duh. Probably a great majority of God’s responses to our life’s conundrums is this. Even though it’s an oldie, it’s also a goodie.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
- Philippians 4:6
Praying boldly to God has always been something that I’ve been hesitant about doing. It’s always my first instinct to think that God probably wouldn’t want to be burdened with these problems of mine. And I think even deeper down, it reflects my lack of faith that God won’t answer my prayers or may give me a solution that is too abstract to understand right away. But how else can I test my faith and trust in God if I can’t even pray to Him about things like this?
So I’ve been praying for my friend and I shall continue to pray.
“Father God, I lift my friend and the family up to You. May You comfort them in this time of grief and soothe their aching hearts. May Your Holy Spirit dwell in them and give them the answers and the peace that they seek. May You take away lies of the enemy that may blame, accuse or tell them there were more things they could have done to love the deceased. May they speak openly and honestly with You, sharing their anger, hurt, frustration, sadness and confusion with You. We trust and know that You are God, You are Lord and You can and will carry all our burdens and feelings. We pray that this will be a time they can be closer to You in relationship than ever before, walking and fully trusting in You to speak to them. May You most importantly just love on this family. Overwhelm them with your indescribable love and comfort and soften their hearts so they can receive Your love to the fullest. If there is anything You would like me to be or do in this person’s life, please reveal that to me and share with me. Thank You for being You, Almighty and Holy and Good forever more.”
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
- Romans 12:15
前陣子, 當我聽到一位朋友悼念他突然過世的親人後，我又做了同樣的事情。這個朋友對我很重要， 所以我想在這時候好好處理，使他與我聊天時感到安全和自在，好讓他能打開心窗、與我傾訴心事。或者，若果他不想觸景傷情，我也可以跟他聊聊天以示安慰。在他經歷失去親人的時候, 我想成為他完美的朋友。於是我就在Google鍵入了“如何支持悼念親人的朋友”，便有許多文章彈了出來。
我再讀第三篇文章, 它建議我去做簡單的差事，以此來表明你在他身邊，以及你會在沒有壓力的情況下關心他們 。
馬太福音16:24 – 「耶穌對他的門徒說: 「誰願意做我的門徒必須捨己，背起自己的十字架來跟從我。」」
- 腓立比書 4:6