I sent a message to a sweet friend of mine last night telling her how my heart is heavy for her and her family. Her husband is going through chemotherapy treatments now. After both my husband and my cancer diagnoses, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, I can empathize all too well with their situation. Her faith-filled response was as follows.
Please don’t let our situation be heavy for you. As you know, God is sustaining us and we see His handprints all over this circumstance. Hard, yes…absolutely and yet such blessings in this storm. I am sorry if this situation is causing any pain for you. I know how hard it was for us to see you go through this. He (God) is our strength (Rock) and our Redeemer…we are sustained by the prayers of His people.
Again, I could relate to her feelings. God’s sweet peace and faithfulness is a balm for the soul in the dark valleys of life. I also understand how she doesn’t want others to suffer because of their situation. I didn’t (and still don’t) want people to feel bad for me either. I began to really think about exactly what my response should be toward others who are hurting. God’s Word, the Holy Bible, always has the answers. This is what I found…
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Romans 15:1,2 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities (weaknesses) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification (being built up).
After I read these verses I concluded, “If I’m NOT concerned when fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are struggling, I should be worried about my spiritual condition.” It should be a natural response for a believer whose heart is filled with Jesus’ love to hurt when others are hurting. Maybe the Holy Spirit burdens our hearts to motivate us to pray for others. Prayer is a benefit to both the ones being prayed for as well as the one who is praying. Praying helps us to not worry and trust the only One (God) who can change the situation anyway. Praying also reminds us that we need God and His help, which keeps us humble and dependent on God. Also, a heavy heart should motivate us to action.
God meant for us to be in community with other believers. Power and strength can be gained when our hearts are knitted together with God’s love. There are some special verses in Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 that talk about the importance of not being alone in time of trouble…
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth: for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
As we see others going through their own storms in this life, may we love them like Jesus loves us. May we be motivated to pray instead of worry. May we be moved to ease their suffering as we are able.
Owe no man anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
Keep looking up,