“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)
The Lord knows us. He knows us better than anyone ever has, or ever will know us. He knows and understands our infirmities, the daily afflictions that trip us up and restrict us. There is comfort in knowing that no matter what we are going through, the Lord understands and is with us as we suffer.
Do you feel that sometimes no one can comprehend the degree of pain, frustration, or depression that your illness is causing you? Do you feel that family and friends are almost in an alternate reality without the means to fathom your existence will illness?
Sometimes it is easier to try to hide our illnesses than to spend time and energy expressing our pain and suffering that others may not be able to comprehend. We can end up isolating ourselves and missing the comfort and help others could offer to us because we are so weary of trying to explain our illnesses, and keep coming across those who either can’t comprehend, or really have no desire to try. Yet we can also miss true comfort and kindness from those who genuinely care and wish to help.
I’ve heard the saying, “Every man dies alone.” I have often thought that those who suffer, mostly do so alone as well. Though one may die alone in an ultimate sense, I do not believe or accept that we must suffer alone–without comfort or kindness from those around us.
When we celebrate, or experience a unique or exciting event, such things are much more enjoyable with friends or family to share the experience with. Yet when it comes to suffering too often it seems such things are destined to be endured in silence and loneliness. I suspect that suffering people are among the loneliest and most depressed people on earth, not because they want to be, but because so few people can, or are willing, to try to step into their shoes and reach them within their pain and misery.
Even when friends and family fail us, even when it seems we are isolated in our own difficult world of suffering and pain, comfort yourself with the knowledge that you are never truly alone. God’s Spirit abides with His children, speaking and communicating our suffering in ways beyond words, beyond human understanding. There is a God who cares, and He is with us in our suffering and pain.
When you are tempted to give up trying to communicate your illness, and tired of the pat answers in response to your illness, keep in mind that there are people who care and want to help, and that you have brothers and sisters throughout the world suffering similar things.
And finally, always remember that God is with you in your affliction, and He understands what your suffer better than anyone else ever can or will. Your suffering matters to Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when life seems an endless path of pain and suffering, loneliness and isolation, help us to allow those reaching out to us into our lives, and let us never forget You are with us always. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He finds that it takes greater effort to allow people into his afflictions than to keep them out.
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Do you sometimes feel lonely in your suffering? Are you tempted to shut others out of your affliction because it seems too difficult to share?