When I write a devotional I do not think about the thousands of people who may read what I write, but rather the one person who will be reading it, someone like myself who is living with an affliction. Reading is mostly a solitary thing with the author and the reader taking part in communication, relating to each other on some level, having a shared experience.
I was recently flipping through channels on my TV and I came across a music video by 2Pac called: “Ghetto Gospel.” Now I live in the suburbs of the Midwest and I could not tell you the first thing about the ghetto, but I liked the video. It shared the common human experience of loss and suffering, and the uncommon experience of faith in God. We may each have different backgrounds and come from different cultures, but we will all suffer, and those blessed to find salvation have the same source of strength and power to uphold them in times of affliction.
Sometimes when we are staring at the same four walls, finding that our home is now our prison of affliction, we can forget there are so many others out there enduring suffering just as we are, irregardless of skin color or background. We each have the same beating heart that feels pain and knows suffering. To live is to know pain and suffering and affliction, in this we are all the same.
When we walk by people on the street or by people at the store, there are no signs around their neck saying: “I Am Hurting!” Too many people suffer in silence whether alone or in a crowd. And when things are not going well for us we can develop tunnel vision to the point we truly believe no one knows or can understand what we are going through, yet everyone will at some point in their lives know suffering. We are certainly not alone–we are one in suffering.
When we believe in Christ He becomes part of our lives and He can transform us from the inside out. He also forms a connection between us as we are all made into His church. He is our spiritual connection to each other, and we each have a human connection as we collectively have a human nature, but we are doubly connected through Christ.
Nothing is so lonely as the individual wrapped up in suffering. Our pain can isolate and even divide us from one another, but in the big picture the things we suffer individually make us one. Perhaps right now you are feeling lonely and divided from humanity, maybe your pain has caused you to put up walls that isolate you from those around you and the larger world outside. I would encourage you to remember our common humanity, and our uncommon connection and salvation through our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Dear Lord, the pain and suffering that isolates us requires Your intervention to reconnect us through our faith in You. Bring us together in Your love and peace irregardless of the things we suffer. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. God is his comfort in times of suffering and isolation.
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Do you feel like you are sometimes isolated by your affliction? Does suffering make you want to draw away, or draw near others?