How To Respond To Those Suffering
I recently responded on my Facebook wall about a post that was written by Elizabeth Gilbert on her page. Her post was titled, “I Don’t Know.” You can read her original post here.
In a world of tragedy and so much uncertainty, this post really hits home and is a great encouragement. Whether it’s all the terrible things happening in the world, a terminally sick loved one, a broken marriage, a stillbirth late term, an emotionally disturbed child, an “impossible” relationship, a severely handicapped child, the list is endless, we can all relate at some point.
And I do agree with the writer that there are many heartless and thoughtless words and cliches thrown at people who are at the depths of their suffering.
But why is that? Maybe they’ve never truly suffered. Or maybe they are trying their best and want so badly to encourage and sympathize and that’s all they know to say or do. They may not realize yet that just a hug and “I’m sorry” or “I don’t know” could actually be the best thing.
But what about the one suffering? I know it sounds flippant and uncaring to just say, “receive it with grace because they just don’t understand”. I’ve experienced a plentiful share of suffering so far in my life. Those who know me know that I’m in the midst of some pretty heavy things. But I know that it will eat you up if you dwell on any heartless sentiments that others say to you in your deepest sorrow.
To the sufferer, I agree that part of healing is reaching out to help even one person. Reach out with love to help one person going through a terrible time.
But go further and higher. From one fellow “sufferer” to another, let me offer a few medical procedures that I know will help:
1. See the right doctor – Cry out “Please God Help Me!!”
2. Get an eye examine – Your vision may be off. Focus on the One who can really make a difference and do something about it instead of focusing on yourself and the painful situation. The more I focus on God’s character instead of my difficult and sorrowful situation, the less hopeless I feel and my grief, although still there, is easier to handle when I’m not all alone and handling it by myself.
3. You might need Heart Surgery – You could need more serious surgery. The healing power of saving Blood is where the real healing comes. “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9&10)
I honestly don’t know how people get through some of the difficult and sorrowful things in life without knowing the Comforter.
The little book, The Red Sea Rules – The same god who led you in will lead you out by Robert J. Morgan, has been a huge help and source of encouragement to me. I highly recommend it to everyone. Because none of us are immune to difficult times. At some point in life we will all suffer deep sorrow and pain.
Here is a quote from the book that has given me much encouragement:
“When before the throne we stand in Him complete, all the riddles that puzzle us here will fall into place and we shall know in fulfillment what we now believe in faith– that all things work together for good in His eternal purpose. No longer will we cry “My God, why?” Instead, “alas” will become “Alleluia,” all question marks will be straightened into exclamation points, sorrow will change to singing, and pain will be lost in praise.”
Just my thoughts on this!