Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. – James 5:13
We know that we are to cry with those who weep and rejoice with those who are happy. Have you ever felt so torn because you have one friend over here weeping and another friend over there cheering? It can make you feel like Sybil sometimes!
Shortly after my last miscarriage, I was asked to co-host a baby shower. It’s not my friend’s fault. Nobody even knew I was pregnant. By the time you are on the 5th try, you just don’t say a lot to anyone. It was probably the most difficult thing I had to do. I had to buck up and be the friend – happy that my friend and her husband were expecting, and make sure they had some happy memories along the way.
When you suffer loss you are better able to pray for a friend who is suffering. There’s a sort of maturity and wisdom that you gain when you suffer. It’s not a chip to be worn on your shoulder, although it would be very easy to do that. It’s more of a reminder that you are aware of the other person’s situation. You have your own pain to tap into while you are empathizing, because as we all know, empathy is more than sympathy.
We live in a society that would rather party and be happy and not be around people who are “downers” – but that is shallow thinking and lacks maturity in the Christian world. Life is not one big party (sorry to burst your bubble). There’s a reason we are to weep with the suffering and sing songs of happiness and praise to God with those who celebrate.
Life is messy – and it’s like a rollercoaster ride at times. You can be trucking along, thinking everything is going at a pretty even keel – and boom! It’s good to have solid Christian friends around when you hit bottom – and by the same token, it’s good to be a solid Christian friend when they hit bottom and need your support. 🙂