Been There

A friend called me asking for help with her car. She couldn’t get her car started. “Do you have a jump start cable? My car won’t start. It must be the battery.” she said on the phone. 

“Yes, I do. I can bring it to you. But, first, can you do something for me. Can you honk your car horn and play your stereo?” She sounded a bit hesitant over the phone. Her voice disappeared for a little bit before she responded, “I just did. And both the horn and the stereo work” 

“Hmm… it is not as simple as you think. That’s not a battery problem and a jump start will not get your car running.. I think the problem is the car’s starter.” I explained. After I hung up the phone, I drove to meet her. I called my road assistance auto service. Not long, the road assistance guy came checking the engine and finally said to me, “You’re right. It’s not the battery. It is the starter. You have to call the tow company to get this car towed to the nearest shop. Nothing I can do here.” 

I knew exactly how to diagnose and call out the problem of the car right away, not because I am a car mechanic nor that I have a serious interest with cars. I knew that particular problem because I have had the same problem with all my old cars. That day I realized that we are allowed to experience problems in life so that we can help others to get through theirs. 

When Vania, my wife, got diagnosed with breast cancer, we went looking for the right doctors. One of her doctors, an Integrative Oncology Doctor whom we met, was also a breast cancer survivor who had the same type of cancer and condition as Vania’s. When we listened to her personal story and how she went through this whole painful healing process, we knew right away that we would like her to treat Vania. It was as if she was saying, “I’ve been there, let me help you go through this.” It gave us comfort that a doctor does not only know in her head how to diagnose, prescribe medicine, and cure the disease but a doctor who was struck by the disease, battled, and overcame it. For sure, this kind of doctor would have more compassion and understanding of the entire journey that Vania had to go through. 

This month is the sixteenth month since Vania was first diagnosed with breast cancer. After a series of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy, Vania is now helping others who have similar problems. She can do it way better than a pastor like me who can only give my sympathy to a person who’s going through the cancer journey. Unlike me,  she can empathize, putting herself in someone else’s shoes, and help that person going out of their personal wilderness experience. 

When Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He was not giving us a prescription for comfort. He’s offering his life, his whole life, to walk along side of us during any trial and tribulation, because Jesus has been there. He knows what it means to be rejected, lonely, betrayed, denied, abandoned, spat on, abused, nailed on the cross, and died from a brutal death. That’s why Jesus also said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He will not only show us the way to deliverance, He IS the way of deliverance. He has made himself the way for us to travel upon. He allows us to put both our feet on this “pathway” of his body and his life and let us walk on them. He was telling the truth that we all should come to Him for any healing because He’s the ultimate healing that will lead us to life. 

For those of us who are dealing with all kinds of hardship, pain, or problems, if it helps to give you comfort, look at those problems as God’s way to make us a channel of blessing to those who are going through similar experiences. 


Love and prayers, 

Vincent Arishvara 09262019