“Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good” (Job 34:4).
Suffering, pain, and life with illness often forces us inside of ourselves. It is human nature to want to shield ourselves from pain, and to protect ourselves from suffering. Yet endless days of misery can cause us to form a cocoon-like protective barrier that isolates us.
It is very easy to lose sight of the needs and pain of those around us when we are so inwardly focused on our suffering. The challenge for us is to face our own difficulties with courage and faith and yet not become nearsighted regarding those who need us.
Fear can immobilize us, make us shrink away from life, and leave us feeling useless when it comes to helping others. We need faith and courage not only to deal with our own needs, but to reach beyond ourselves, outside of the sphere of “our own little world” and help others who are suffering.
The amazing thing that happens when we take our eyes off of our own troubles and focus instead on the needs of others is that we can forget about our misery for awhile, and our trials begin to shrink in comparison to the terrible needs of others.
Perhaps you are suffering horribly right now. While not denying your awful trial, I would encourage you to find someone with equal or greater problems to reach out to and encourage in some way. You may be surprised at how much smaller the mountain of misery in your life becomes.
We face many challenges in this life, but how much easier they become when we do not face them alone. Others have helped us on our journey, let us repay that kindness by finding and helping other souls in need of encouragement.
Prayer: Dear Lord, the only thing worse than suffering is to suffer alone. Be with us in our pain, and help us to reach out to and encourage others in their suffering. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is grateful for the opportunity to encourage others, and the encouragement he has received in his many trials.
Do feel alone in your misery? Why not find someone else in pain to encourage. It will bless you both.
Oh, how much friendships mean! This is Owl City featuring Britt Nichole singing “You’re Not Alone.” The lyrics are so practical and they speak to God rescuing us when we are feeling lonely. But oh how the words also explain why we want to reach out to those we care about with the same hope we receive from God. May it remind you that you have something valuable to share with someone–your hope in Jesus! -Lisa