One of the many blessings that have come to me in watching The Chosen, is that I am more aware than ever of Jesus’s humanity. I never thought about Jesus doing the menial everyday things that people normally do. How many of us would picture Jesus alone in the wilderness, rubbing sticks together to build his own fire, brushing his teeth (without a toothbrush), washing his feet before entering his tent to go to sleep, tending to his own wounds, doing manual labor, carrying things, being hot, being cold, being exhausted, walking long distances, needing to eat, needing to sleep, etc. Jesus taking on humanity wasn’t just partial—it was the complete, real, and full human experience. The more I realize this and the more I take that truth in, the deeper I see God’s great love for us.
Experiencing all things human for Jesus included emotional and physical pain. It included anguish, loneliness, and the felt need to have others walk beside Him. Matthew 26:36-34 tells us, “He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons with him. He was beginning to feel deep anguish. Then he said to them, 'My anguish is so great that I feel as if I’m dying. Wait here and stay awake with me.'” Who is your “stay awake with me” person?
When I was going through my divorce, my stay awake person most often was my sister, Rita. I had other family and friends who would be there for me too, but Rita carried the brunt of my anguish. I got to the point, however, when I realized I might be putting too much on her, and even though I had my small group and other friends, I still wished I had someone else to talk to who wasn’t so personally connected to me. Someone who would listen and support me, but who wouldn’t be emotionally drained or impacted by my own pain and suffering. I wish I had known about Stephen Ministry at that time. I wish someone had told me there were people available who had been called to come beside others to be there with them, to listen, to support, to encourage, and to pray.
The good news is, you and I now have that opportunity to let others know that there are such people available to them. When we have people in our lives who are going through hardships personally, whether it be emotionally, financially, relationally, or physically, there are people who would consider it a privilege to walk beside them, and “stay awake” as they walk through a difficult time. We have Stephen Ministry here at Greater Portland Bible Church. Our Stephen Ministers have received special training to provide high-quality, confidential, one-to-one, Christian care to hurting people. Stephen Ministers meet weekly with their care receivers to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. (Men meet with men, and women meet with women.) The caring relationship lasts for as long as the person needs care. It’s free, and it’s a powerful way you can help a hurting friend.
To learn how to connect someone you know with a Stephen Minister, talk with one of our Stephen Ministry Leaders: Steve or Mary Muir, Mitch Lea, Paula Petersen, or Jane Lewis. Or, you can contact our church office at 503-452-9375, or email , and someone will contact you.