I had a talk with my manager at my job last year. It was an interesting conversation to say the least. He had walked upstairs within the building that we work in. I was off in the distance of that floor when I heard him call me over.
My boss and I have had many talks before. We see each other often and pass the friendly small talk. We engage in typical business conversation from time to time. There was a very different demeanor that I had noticed when approaching him this time. His face was troubled. His eyes were worried. He quickly began to speak about the stress that he was facing. There were a few new people within our place of business who were becoming a huge thorn in his side. The many problems at hand were starting to cause him a great deal of uneasiness, to the point of losing sleep at night. He told me his past weekend was peculiar. He found himself doing strange things that he does not normally do. Something about cutting grass? His words described the oddness, but I cannot recall the details. He was distraught. The new challenges that he was facing within our business were evidently a weighing problem, and they were affecting his well-being. They were disrupting his well-maintained focus that I have witnessed many times before.
I had wondered why he decided to speak to me about this? He is twenty years older than me, and the relationship we have had in the past has been challenging at times. I was once a very abrasive employee, and had raised my voice to him on more than one occasion. But, he also knew that I had undergone many changes that were obviously taken seriously. I wondered why, but looking back I’ve realized it is because the Lord had something to reveal to both of us. That day my manager and I learned about our shared faith in Jesus.
I had attended a mental health facility for two-and-a-half weeks, several months before. A certain time in my life had me crying out for help at work, and a co-worker said that he would take me to get help if I gave him a place to take me. I reluctantly agreed, and directed him to bring me to a facility I was already familiar with through past counseling with my family. For nearly three weeks, I received outpatient treatment. I was also absent from work during that time. My manager was very aware of my voluntary therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped me to deal with some deep-seated issues that had me rooted in the past, as well as managing the anger issues that I have always possessed.
We continued to speak about managing our stress. He asked how I do it. He said something along the lines of noticing how I am focused and can easily move on when faced with a challenge. I mentioned the therapy, and he asked if the things that I had learned had helped? I said that they did, and followed up by saying that the real help comes through prayer.
These few words started a conversation about the Lord, Bible apps on our phones and a few verses that are important to us. I had mentioned the time when Jesus was sleeping in a boat, and the storm came…
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! -Matthew 8:23-27 (KJV)
I had mentioned the part about having “little faith” with emphasis that day. He allowed me to speak about the many storms I have faced throughout my life. He just listened to the few things that were in my heart and mind, and how those things have pushed me into a deeper relationship with the Lord. We continued to talk for a long time, and it may have been too long since we were both supposed to be working! Although, I believe the Lord had His work to do through both of us that day. We walked away thanking each other for the fruitful conversation.
My boss and I have a different kind of relationship now. We have very nice talks. We give each other advice. We have lunch together, speak about His Word and have prayed together. It is great, considering how the past resulted in us both being a little uncomfortable around each other. Our relationship in Christ continues to grow as we continue to meet in His name. We both continue to remember to that we are men of flesh, fighting a spiritual battle.
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33 (KJV)
Sometimes we need to have pain to appreciate joy. Have hardships to receive blessings. We must endure challenges in order to call upon the Lord for the strength that is not found within ourselves. When we encounter these things within the flesh, let us remember that we should seek Him in Spirit. We should remain in His truth.