Just this week I was creating a blog post for you about weathering the storms of life but then some serious storms started to hit “my people” and it consumed me. It felt like the enemy was sucker punching those I hold dear to my heart, right in the gut, over and over again while I stood by and watched. It’s one thing to fight my own battles, and quite another to see loved ones painfully fight theirs. My brother, my daughter, my husband, my friend.
Watching my people hurt is unbearable.
I am not unfamiliar with pain and suffering, heartbreak or disappointment, but I tend to handle it much better when it is my own pain. Hit me! Torture me! Sucker punch me! Break my heart! I can take it! Please just not my people. I want to scoop them up in my arms, hold them tight, dry their tears and make it all better. I want to extract the pain from their hearts and endure it for them. Last night I watched the movie Unbroken and was so moved by the scene where the evil prison guard makes all the prisoners punch the main character, Louis Zamperinni in the face. The guard says, “Punch him or I will whip your friend!” The weak friend trembles in a heap of fear as Zamperinni takes a punch from at least 100 men so that his friend wouldn’t have to. The friend couldn’t take it. I understood Zamperinnis decision completely as I would willingly take the pain for my people, especially when they are feeling weak and vulnerable and unable to endure. It made me think.”Do you know what? Jesus did that for us!”
For you and me and all of humanity.
He took the hit.
All the sin and pain and suffering of the world, our heartache and pain, He nailed it to the cross.
He endured so that we don’t have to.The Bible says to turn to Him and He will heal our broken hearts and restore our weary souls. I have felt the comfort of God before in my silent sorrow, in my turmoil, disappointment and loss. He stilled my reeling heart, calmed my anxious soul and He has dried my tears. Many times it has been through my close friends and family who have sat and offered compassion and empathy. They have wept with me and eventually they have laughed with me too. (It truly is the best medicine.) Big gapping wounds are now just tiny scars because of His healing comfort. This is the good news that gets me through the dark night and shines the light so I can face tomorrow. I have to believe that He will do the same for my hurting loved ones. So I say, “I love you.” and “I am so very sorry!” and I pray to God.
“Lord, please help them, see them and love them like you’ve loved me, like I know you can. Only you know the depth of their pain and the tenderness of their soul. Draw near to them, comfort them and heal their hearts.”
I never want to be like Jobs’ friends in the Bible whose careless words made things worse as they tried to speculate about Gods’ doings and Job’s situation.The Bible says to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Perhaps we should just offer the quiet comfort of friendship by just being with them. “Jesus with skin on.” I like to call it.
“Surround them Lord, with your love and peace and comfort and give them your unexplainable joy and hope that I have felt it in my time of need.”
God is a relational God who could certainly just individually comfort each of us but instead he encourages us to help each other. In 1 Corinthians 1:4 we are told how.
1 Corinthians 1 :4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
Some of my trials may have indeed been a training ground for comfort so that I could in turn comfort someone else. What a beautiful picture we see that not only are relationships important to God but so is our comfort. He sent His one and only son to earth to save us from impending doom and make us more that conquerers in life and in death. Weeping, rejoicing and comforting; listening late into the night and wiping each others tears. It is so hard to see my people sad and struggling but I know that God sees them and cares about them. I will comfort them they way I have been comforted and pray they will receive the comfort of God as well. If they can’t see Him or find Him through the tears then I will hold their hand as He holds mine and together we will make it through; mourning, weeping and eventually rejoicing. Because our God is good!
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Helen H. Lemmel, 1922
In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13