I know that you have felt both the pangs as well as the joys of this week’s verse. You suffer with your family and friends when they suffer. You triumph in their smallest accomplishments.
Lord willing we will all do much more celebrating than suffering during this Advent season but we also must expect times of suffering together. Though we want to shield our families, our friends, and especially dear children from all harm, suffering is normal. We need to be ready for it and not lose faith when it does hit.
Recently my daughter, Hannah, got an awful sunburn. We treated her with the proper after-sun care. We distracted her with funny stories and silly songs. We wished we could have taken her pain from her. We prayed over her for healing and for the Lord’s touch to be upon her. Finally, we reminded her that pain is part of life here on Earth and in Heaven we will have no more of it.
This world is not meant to hold us forever. We can build hope into our family and friends by speaking out truth and rejoicing in our final hope of resurrection with complete restoration of what was lost. As we read in 1 Corinthians 15:55 and 57, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?... But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Though I love my brothers and sisters in Christ, I confess it isn’t always easy for me to reach out to those in pain, since it reminds me of great loss. Please help me to remember to reach out to others despite my discomfort, knowing that You will provide just what is needed during times of trial. Help me to remember that You have already overcome the greatest trial of all, death! Help me to spread the good news and hope You’ve given so generously. Please also remind me of the joy that comes from fully celebrating the good news of my friends and family instead of harboring resentment or jealousy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Do you know someone who is hurting today? Do you know someone who is celebrating? What is one thing you can do to stand with them? How to help a grieving friend.