Doc’s standard prescription for head ache,”Take two aspirin and call me in the morning!” That’s simple, right? No, not for emotional pain anyway. What about when the pain is excruciating or while the duration is long, what does one do then? When a friend is in pain, does one notice it or neglect it? What’s my response? What is yours?
Notice other people’s pain Rachel. God recently spoke. I’m not a jerk, completely callous,or lacking all compassion, but I think I had been wrapped up, like a burrito, in my own pain that I’d become unaware of what others experienced. It’s Not Always About Me-Duh!
Yes, I feel my own pain deeply, but am I empathic? Is my pain any worse than what my friends and family members have been going through? Hmm? I’m not sure. How would that be evaluated? There’s no emotional pain meter like the way earthquakes are measured-on the Richter scale. Do I dare enter into the pain of other people, remind them of His promises and find Him there too?Notice other people’s pain Rachel. His directive rang out repeatedly. It’s Not Always About Me-Duh!You’re right God, I haven’t always done that. So I apologized to a few my friends, “I’ve not always recognized your pain and I’m sorry for what you are going through, please forgive me.”
I’ve observed from a distance, walked closely alongside and prayed for many in pain. Painful situations have swirled around me, while others exploded in front of me, yet some have lingered like a bad cold. The list includes:
* death of a beloved spouse
* loosing both parents
* walking alongside a mom with breast cancer
* husband in prison
* child in treatment for an eating disorder
* sudden death of child in a freak “accident”
* loosing an adult son
* Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
* spouse who doesn’t give-the time of day
* divorce and with it an estranged child
* cancer scare
* job loss
* break up of a long term relationship
* son with drug addiction
* infection long-term hospitalization & long-term therapy
* abusive relationship
* child in critical condition/car accident
* child with early onset schizophrenia
* belligerent teen
* multiple miscarriages
* parent with alzheimer’s
* AND…insert personal pain … HERE
People have endured great pain and trials, but each has placed their feet on the Rock-Jesus. You know who you are, but do you know the testimony you’ve been in the pain? You’ve been testimony of God’s strength, love, faithfulness and His nearness to you in all of it! God is our refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble. I’ve seen His hand in each situation. God has healed and redeemed. He has been a comfort and guide for the situations where the pain has not yet ceased. But there’s hope because He is always working and hope that is seen is no hope at all.
God may have said, notice other’s pain, Rachel because he knew I would surely notice Him in it too! We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can control our response to them. These promises of God from my last post, OUCH! Thank You! apply to this post as well.
1. God will be with you in hard times – God is our refuge and strength, and ever–present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it’s waters roar and foam and the mountain quake with their surging.
2. God will not bring any unnecessary suffering into your life – Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
It’s not always about me, Duh! I think it’s about God. He is in the big and small things, in the joys and sorrows and He is in the laughter and the pain. Notice other people’s pain Rachel. Now I want to notice because I see God’s nearness and I see Him demonstrate His mighty power on the scene. Now I want to notice, do you?