My heart aches when my friends suffer.
At times, I’d rather take it on for them than see them in pain and anguish.
Yet, is this proper thinking?
Yes, we are called to bear one another’s burdens. But, the burden-bearing is not of “I’m taking this one completely off of your shoulders,” rather, it is of, “let me help you carry it. Let me help you through this.” I believe that is true burden-bearing. It is of community as opposed to being of isolation.
I see my friends go through heartache and heartbreak. And I ask God, “what can I do? What can I do?” I know I can pray, and I do, and I know the reality of the effectiveness of prayer, although I can tend to forget it at times.
My question turned this morning, “What gift do I bring?”
My answer came clear as handwriting to me.
In all my own trials, I see, that suffering will come, and suffering will go, granted that we don’t hold on to it for longer than its time. Granted that we seek God out for who He is and who He wants to be for us in our trials.
Can I show my friends that everything will ultimately be okay, even though it doesn’t seem to be right now? Can I show them that God can be trusted, especially in the toughest of tough circumstances? Yes, indeed, my life has rung true to the tune that God is good, that He gives life, that He sustains, that He gives joy, peace, comfort and that He makes all things new. He fashions us according to His purpose and who He made us to be, we are perfectly within His will, never out of His reach or His sight. Suffering will come, and suffering will go, but God brings an undercurrent of joy in all trials, so long as we surrender them to Him, give up the reins of control, and trust Him ..
“Everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end ..” Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. We know, deep within ourselves, if we are called, and while not all things are inherently good, all things will ultimately work together for our good. It’s a beautiful paradox that makes water into tasty wine, the best wine there is to savor!
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”
I Peter 4:12-19 NKJV
Maybe my gift to my friends is to be whatever support they need whilst carrying their burden. Maybe it is to also see what God says about it and remind them not only of what His good plans are for His people, but of who He created them to be ..
Maybe I just need to be prayerful, talking with God and asking Him to help me see the world through their eyes and ask Him what I can do to help Him in His efforts to bless them.
He knows more than I do, anyway ..
His perspective is higher, all-encompassing, and vital.