“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” (Romans 8:26).
Chronic illness is incredibly isolating. For someone as social as I am, I’ve particularly struggled since it seems like people just don’t understand what I’m going through. While it isn’t all the time, sometimes I feel so. . . alone.
We all have a basic human need to be understood; God created us to be relational beings. Even God has a need for community! He isn’t dependent on anyone else, though, since His need is satisfied through the community afforded through the Trinity. His being is self-sustaining through the relational nature of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Since we are made in the image of God, it shouldn’t surprise us that we too have such a profound need. We are designed to need others and most importantly, God.
But sometimes, in the midst of illness, community and understanding is hard to come by.
I’m sure we’ve all been there. Maybe you are there now.
Even when the people around us fail to understand, and realistically we can’t expect them too all the time, we can take comfort in knowing that God completely understands. He even understands better than those closest to us!
I love how in the ESV and NASB translations, scripture says the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”. There have been so many times I have been in such pain that there aren’t words to adequately describe it and yet, the Holy Spirit is right there with us and supporting us.
No matter where we are, we always have the community prayer provides and comfort can be found in God. And maybe, He’s calling us to reach out too because even in our darkest places, we can still offer that understanding to others since we ourselves know what it is like.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for giving us the Holy Spirit to intercede for us! Thank You for understanding us so well and meeting our needs. You have provided us with such an amazing example of community through Your character! Please help us to trust You and to look to You to meet our needs rather than solely depending on other people. Please help us offer grace to those who fail to understand and help give us wisdom to understand them. Amen.
About the author:
S.L. Payne lives with her husband, three permanent sons and foster daughter. She is thankful for God’s faithfulness in her illness as God has used to it help her see Him in everything; the three boys have supplied the humor! She loves writing, photography and laughing with her family. She also writes on her website, uncommongrace.net, where she hopes she can encourage others to live in grace. You can follow her on Twitter @saralynnpayne.
How can you reach out to God today for His community? Is there anyone that you can reach out to who might need some understanding?
God is faithful to take care of us, and this song is a beautiful reminder of that. “Arms That Hold The Universe” with 33Miles. Hoping it blesses you. – Lisa