“The beacons are lit!”
One of my favorite scenes in Lord of the Rings comes in Return of the King when the beacon of Minas Tirith is lit to start a chain of lit beacons spanning Middle Earth and asking for any who can to come to the aid of a city on the brink of attack.
This is one of my favorite scenes because it involves someone humbling themselves enough to admit help is necessary. It also involves others coming to help even when they hold no obligation to do so. They choose to help because it’s the right thing to do.
Unfortunately, we too often do the opposite. We do what Lord Denethor did: retreat and “die in what way seems best.” In other words, we hide our struggles, which often results in our own demise spiritually, physically, and/or mentally.
Let’s be clear that I’m not advocating the airing of dirty laundry or even of many, if any, of the details of a situation. We simply need to ask for help from someone with the ability to come to our aid. We need to realize that sometimes the battle is too much for us to fight alone.
The Body of Christ
For Christians, this is why we are a part of the body of Christ where “its parts should have equal concern for each other” and where “if one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12).
As Christians, we are also to, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). God wants members of His body to lift each other up when one part goes through a struggle. So much of the time, though, a person goes through battles alone, never sharing struggles by asking for help. Fulfilling God’s will, then, becomes almost impossible when burdens remain unknown.
Being a part of the body of Christ means little when one member chooses to live as if independent from the rest of the body. This is, of course, impossible, since the rest of the body still becomes maimed when a member falls away.
Light the Beacon
In the past when I struggled with disconnection, discouragement, or whatever, I fought the battle on my own. Sure, I turned to scripture and prayer, and of course God brought me through. Yet, I have come to believe that often God wants to bring us to victory through others. Perhaps, sometimes, we hide ourselves in our Bibles to avoid admitting our struggles and asking for help. Maybe the victory would come even sooner if we lit our beacons and asked for him.
When you struggle, light the beacon. Tell someone you are struggling.
When I share my struggles, I feel almost immediate relief after doing so. No, the battle didn’t go away immediately, but sharing the struggle and having others bear it with me definitely encouraged me and gave me strength to endure.
What’s more is that I found that my struggle was not unique. Satan wants us to feel alone and as if no one can understand because he knows we aren’t as much of a threat when we struggle alone. Don’t let him deceive you in this way.
The next time you’re struggling, light the beacon and ask for help. Don’t steal another’s blessing by not allowing them to encourage you. Don’t let Satan’s lies drive you deeper into the pit. Be brave enough to humble yourself and let your place in the body of Christ be strengthened.