Joshua Guilas | Staff Writer

To My Friend in Distress,

I’m not going to sugarcoat anything here and say life’s a breeze. Because it sure isn’t In fact, it can suck. Events will come your way that will make you want to give up. You’ll want to close yourself up in your room, away from the world. Sometimes you need that, and that’s okay. But don’t let it become your worldbecause the world needs you.

Think of the Hebrew prophet Elijah. He was constantly facing opposition because he wanted his people to go back to God. He was persecuted and put down as both Jezebel and her husband attempted to murder him. But despite the hardships he faced, he was pulled up to heaven in a chariot for his services to God.  It was the Holy Spirit that empowered Elijah; it was the Lord who was with him through his trials.

In the same way, Jesus invites us to tell him our troubles. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV). Through prayer we may rely on the Lord to not only empower us but defeat our problems.

There was a time in my own life where I was distressed. I was searching for an internship and I was worried that I wouldn’t succeed in finding one when I really needed it most. I prayed, I agonized and I felt like I was nothing. However, with prayer and reliance on the Lord, he led me to an internship in the end. While I struggled to find a way, God had already opened up a path for me to find it.

However, say you are not a Christian. Say you don’t believe in God. That doesn’t mean this doesn’t apply to you, because your friends and family can help you throughout any problem that has occurred in your life. It’s tough, yes, but at your core, you’re a strong person. And even then, the Lord hears your cries. Whether or not you believe he does, he is listening.

Sure, life is full of hardships. But life is not just hardship upon hardship; it can also be full of joy and peace. It’s easy to fall into despair, especially with the events that are happening right now. It is easy to become a misanthrope in a world full of people. Yet do not fall into cynicism. Don’t assume that humanity is done for because of the way things are happening now.

We’re better than that. We can reach so many heights. You can reach so many heights. You can make the world a better place, and it starts with you standing up and embracing what comes your way with resilience and optimism.

So be empowered, okay?

Your friend, Joshua D. Guilas