As I have contemplated my own frustrations that seem big to me, I have seen other people suffer way more than I have. I’m not saying God discounts my, so called ‘little,’ frustrations. He does ask us to come to Him for our needs… no matter how big or small. He says, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy ladened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). I can look at the things I have felt heavy laden over and be frustrated but when I look at the world around me, I can see that there are some really tough things going on besides my frustrations at work or in my relationships.
Over the last six or so months I have witnessed a young couple face what I would call terrible pain when their new born son was born with countless defects in his heart. They were faithfully by his side through surgery after surgery and infections and failing kidneys for over four months before their precious son was taken home to Heaven.
The other night in a restless sleep, my thoughts kept going over the struggles of another young couple who were about to welcome their little one into the world but knowing their little girl would only live a few minutes after birth.
I have watched a friend stand by her father’s side as he under went treatments for cancer that had spread to various parts of his body.
I have watched four women I know loose their mothers. Two of whom had lived with Alzheimer’s disease while another friend lost his dad to the same disease. Just this past week an instructor collapsed outside of his office and didn’t make it, leaving his wife behind.
Yes, all of this sounds so grim but God sees a grander perspective. You see, the young couple who lost their child after four months showed friends and family what it is like to rely solely on God through pain. Their lives have been forever changed and the same for countless others who followed their struggles and prayed them through it. The young couple who lost their little girl just after birth has shown more faith during the pregnancy at age 23 than I have had in my entire 50 years of life.
My friend’s father who has been treated for cancer has been tested and a great portion of his cancer is now gone. While he will still be undergoing radiation treatments, his bond with his daughter and others in his life have grown ever so close. His faith and trust in God have remained strong and unwavering.
The loss of a parent or my spouse is something I haven’t faced yet in my life, and not something I am looking forward to at all. The reality of such pain is something I cannot grasp. But I do know that when the time does come, I will have these friends who will be able to comfort me in my pain like no one else can because they have experienced it.
Dear Father, I know my struggles can seem so overwhelming to me and yet you remind me that no matter what they are, my pain is still real enough for you to heal. God, please show me how to see outside myself and into the lives of others who need comfort in their own pain. I know I cannot take away their pain but I can love them like you love me in my ‘little’ pain. Thank you that you are bringing good things from the pain in the lives of those who know you…. And father, those who don’t know you might one day see you through those who suffer and remain strong because of you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.