Processing Life Events

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist. Matthew 17:9-13

The disciples asked Jesus a curious question after He told them not to tell anyone about what happened on the mountain. I imagine that their minds were scrambling to process what had just happened. Given that the three disciples had just seen Elijah and Moses on the mountain top, they asked a question that was probably going through their heads at the time.

Jesus brought the topic back to the present, to what was going to happen soon to Him and similarly what had already happened to John the Baptist.

When people have traumatic events in their lives, they need time to process it. The more traumatic the event is, the more time needed to process it.

For example, my brother called me three years ago to tell me he had Stage 4 brain and lung cancer. The doctors told him he had only months to live. After I flew out to visit him a couple of times, I steeled myself against the phone call I would eventually receive.

When the call finally came, it was a shock to my system because of the finality of death. Even though I knew the call would come, I couldn’t prepare in advance for the actual loss of life. I needed time to process it, and by the time I made it to the memorial service a few days later, I was still processing it, but at least I could think straight.

This type of shock happens in a divorce, job loss, getting a new job, getting married, bankruptcy, lawsuits, injury, death, child moving away, and other various life events. People need time to process what happens. Sometimes they are not able to think straight until the initial shock has worn off.

Someone in your circle of influence is probably experiencing one of these life events. Just as The Three needed time to process their mountain top experience, so people need space and time to deal with their events.

Let them know you are praying for them, and be there for them if they need you.

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