Ali Hasan: I’m over-helping someone to the point that they can’t do anything for themselves which is what makes me feel guilty.
Brother Donald: There’s got to be times when you feel like pulling out your hair—
Ali: I do.
Brother Donald: because of the stress—
Ali: Yeah, it does get very overwhelming. As I’m helping my friends, I’m behind in my assignments in school, so I do kind of fall apart, you know, kind of like, falling behind.
Brother Donald: Hi Ali, welcome to the program The Solution. We’re really, really happy, really glad to have you here today. For the sake of the viewers, and even myself, because we haven’t really spoken to each other so I don’t know you that well. Who is Ali?
Ali: My name is Ali. I came to Canada in 2004 and studied elementary school, all the way to high school and now I’m graduated.
Brother Donald: Okay, then you went to college? University?
Ali: I went to college.
Brother Donald: Or you are in college?
Ali: I’m in college now.
Brother Donald: What are you studying?
Ali: I’m learning business.
Brother Donald: Business…you’re thinking of being an entrepreneur?
Ali: Yeah, something like that.
Brother Donald: Okay, wish you all the very best in your future.
Ali: Thank you.
Brother Donald: What’s the real reason why you’re here on our program today? What brings you here? What are you facing or coping with in life?
Ali: I’m facing a lot of stress and I would like to let it out of my system. You know, I don’t want to keep it bottled up inside so…
Brother Donald: What’s causing the stress that you’re going through?
Ali: Five years ago, we hired some people like in Syria, to work, to help with the community, and then they didn’t do the proper work and then they just demanded pay, and it was unfair, and my parents didn’t tell me that. I did not know that. And they were just taking our money and making things even worse. And now the houses are completely destroyed, and everything’s gone, and they want to rebuild them they have no currency there. So, it is really stressful for my parents. My mom, she was really sad about it. She cried a lot. I don’t know what was happening because I was not available in the house [at home]. Because I was spending time with my girlfriend because she was dealing with, you know, she’s not really good with people.
Brother Donald: This is your girlfriend you’re talking about?
Ali: Yeah, my girlfriend, because I was spending more time with her, right, and school.
Brother Donald: Was she also going through…
Ali: She’s also going through anxiety…
Brother Donald: You mentioned earlier, Ali, when it comes to your parents, you said you’re looking after —
Brother Donald: — them to a certain degree? Can you clarify that? What are you doing for your parents at this time?
Ali:. They didn’t open up to me, because they thought I was too young to understand. Now they have, we talked about it and then I went with them. And we just hired some people to help with the construction there and rebuild.
Brother Donald: Oh, you’re actually taking care of that project?
Ali: Yeah, I’m going there. I’m just like a spokesperson for my dad because he’s not really used to, you know, meeting with new people. He has kind of trust issue, but I’m more friendly, I can get along with anyone.
Brother Donald: How about physically, are your parents suffering from any kind of sickness?
Ali: Well, yeah, like blood pressure, like these infections happening in my mom’s legs—her left leg. There is a disease that kept spreading through her veins, and it paralyzed her for a couple days, and she was unable to walk. There was a little black spot on her left leg. It was really small. The next day it got bigger, bigger, bigger, and then, she was crying out in pain and they had to cut pieces of her legs—it spread to her feet. And she’s in a wheelchair.
Brother Donald: And then you also have friends, is it not?
Ali: I have friends here too, yeah.
Brother Donald: Were they also relying on you to a certain level?
Ali: Some, some. Yeah, one of my friends, I helped him through a lot, like moving out, especially. Then I helped them through finding a place to live, and what kind of a job he should get, how to manage his money—
Brother Donald: You did all of this for him?
Ali: He was going through a tough time, and his parents are like—they don’t get along much, and just you know, he was really sad. He was in class and he would just always complain to me.
Brother Donald: It’s got to be overburdening.
Ali: It is, it is sometimes. It is. And then I’m over—over-helping someone to the point that they can’t do anything for themselves, which is what makes me feel guilty. Like. I’m not letting them—giving them the chance to learn how to fix themselves.
Brother Donald: There’s got to be times when you feel like pulling out your hair.
Ali: I do.
Brother Donald: The stress…
Ali: Yeah, it does get very overwhelming. As I’m helping my friends, I’m behind in my assignments at school, so I do kind of fall apart, you know, kind of like falling behind—
Brother Donald: You know, when it comes to stress management for young people, that’s very, very important.
Ali: Am I doing too much for someone, or is it okay the amount of help I’m providing someone?
Brother Donald: Well, from the sounds of it, what will really be beneficial for you, Ali, is the ability to be able to manage, not when it comes to only the time—time management, but even when it comes to the emotional burden, or to be blunt, when it comes to even the stress; the management of the stress that you may be experiencing in your life. But we’d like you to know that, of course, you are not the only one. In fact, the Bible records that even from time immemorial, when it comes to mankind, mankind has faced stress. And the proof of it is, we can read here in Lamentations 3:19-20.
Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable. That’s all I ever think about, and I am depressed.
[Lamentations 3:19-20 Contemporary English Version]
Brother Donald: So please notice, even when it comes to the servants of God thousands of years ago, they also experienced depression. They also experienced stress. So, man needs to know how to deal, or to cope with the stress that he may experience in life. Normally, a person who’d be encountering problems of looking after their parents who are sickly and getting older, when it comes to what was happening with their project there in Syria, not going well, you yourself when it comes to your studies in school, your assignments to be handed in at a specific time, when it comes to your girlfriend, when it comes to friends who are also coming to you, I mean, that’s a lot. Where did you find the strength, where did you find the energy, where did you find the peace of mind?
Ali: Well, my girlfriend, my friends, we just…
Brother Donald: And that, invariably, is what other people do.
Brother Donald: When it comes to the members of the Church of Christ, however, we’re being taught to place our hope in the one who never has to encounter themselves problems or difficulties, and who is that? In Psalms 37:5, we can read this:
Give yourself to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will help you;
[Psalms 37:5 Good News Translation]
Brother Donald: We are being taught by the Bible to give ourselves to the Lord. And in turn, we can cast all our cares, all of our concerns upon Him, because, as the Bible teaches, He will help you. We know that when it comes to man per se, man is very limited when it comes to the assistance that they can deliver to others. So, even though you’re a very helpful person—we can tell that, Ali—but you have to admit that sometimes you, yourself, you reach your own limitation.
Brother Donald: Ali, does it ever feel unfair that here you are trying to help or assist others when in truth, perhaps they should be helping or assisting or aiding themselves
Ali: Yeah, I do. Sometimes, yeah. But then, you know, they tell me that sometimes they can’t do that. They just—they need, maybe, a little push to give them that encouragement to take care of themselves. In a way, they don’t know how to do it, so I just give them some suggestions
Brother Donald: It’s good to have friends, is it not?
Brother Donald: We know that it’s good to have a friend in times of need.
Ali: Of course.
Brother Donald: But then again, when it comes to receiving the ultimate assistance or help that we need, it shouldn’t be placed in another human being or individual, but rather it should be placed in the one who created us. God is always there to help us.
And as proof we can read in II Corinthians 12, and the verses are 9 to 10:
And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in in formatives reproaches. It needs in persecutions in distress is for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
[II Corinthians 12:9-10 New King James Version
Brother Donald: So even for yourself, personally, you know, if we place our hope and trust in a higher power—we can say, in our Father in heaven, the Lord our God—he may give unto us that inner strength that we need. (And) the same when it comes to your friend, you know, they are fond of always calling upon you to help them. But in fairness, you know, they should really be calling upon the one who can truly help the both of you.
Ali: All right,
Brother Donald: Do you feel as if you have the correct balance when it comes to your future, your life and the welfare of family and friends?
Ali: That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I don’t know. I’m not able to focus on my main goal, because I honestly don’t know what I want to do as my career. I still don’t know what I want to be. I guess, in business because, you know, I guess I could be a good businessman or salesperson. I guess, you know, because I know how to talk to people, I guess. The thing is—I have, you know, family and friends in the way. I don’t have all the time to focus on that. So, I’m trying to figure out if I’m doing if I had the right balance of, you know, of where I’m at. I’m doing the right thing. And you know, what should I do next? Who should I go to?
Brother Donald: If we’re just going to rely upon our own abilities, Ali, we could end up not only in confusion, but also, tragically, in failure. So what the Bible teaches is what the members of the Church of Christ adhere to, and this is a promise of God (that) we can read in Jeremiah 29, and the verse is 11:
[On-screen text graphic]
I alone know the plans I have for You. Plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.
[Jeremiah 29:11 Good News Translation]
Brother Donald: So when it comes to our Creator, the Almighty God, please note this, He says, “I alone, know the plans I have for you.” And what kind of plans to have for us? It is written— “plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.” You hope for a lucrative future, you’re hoping for a future that includes family, children—
Brother Donald: When it comes to security, when it comes to still being able to help your friends and your family, most especially, to a certain limit. But when it comes to us working out exactly how that is going to unfold—as you know, it’s very difficult. What’s the proper balance? But if we are going to place our hope and trust in God—God, himself, makes known, he does have plans for you, Ali. And those plans are to bring you prosperity and also success.
So, how can we benefit from this promise of God to bring us prosperity, and also, success? Let’s read.
I cry out to the Lord, I plead for the Lord’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell Him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go my enemies have set traps for me. I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought. No one will help me; No one cares a bit what happens to me; Then I pray to You, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
[Psalms 142:1-5 New Living Translation]
If we have the Creator at the center of our life and our life revolves around him, we are assured that everything will go well for us. And this is exactly what the members of the Church are doing. So, that all the more they can be able to manage the stress and the challenges that they are coping in life, and continue living pleasantly, looking for that bright future, and most especially, when it comes to serving, the Lord our God. Ali, was our discussion helpful in any way, today?
Ali: Yes, really helpful. Thank you very much.
Brother Donald: In what way was it helpful?
Ali: Just learning it, you know, just having someone there to listen to what I have to say. My issues. It’s still nice, you know. So it’s the least I could ask for—at least someone is there to listen.
Brother Donald: Well, we’re very, very fortunate to have you on our program, Ali. And your situation is similar to what some of the viewers are going through, too. So it’s been a great benefit when it comes to, they themselves, when they view this episode of the program, and we’re hoping that you can take with you, again, the teachings that we have studied. We invite you when it comes to attending our church activities, our worship service, when it comes to our Bible studies—you are more than welcome. Thank you, again, for being on the program.
Ali: You’re Welcome
Brother Donald: We wish you all the very best.
Ali: Thank you.
GET TO KNOW US NAVIGATING LIFEINSIPIRING STORIES