Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How to you comfort someone walking through a Valley of their own?

How do you react when you see someone traveling thru the same Valley you were in for so long? 

Me, well tears of course because I'm always hyper emotional at this time of year. 

You see, I pose this question because I recently witnessed the tears of another which brought my own. I know the journey she walks as it is a road I have walked myself. I want to hold her hand and tell her everything will be okay... but the truth is it may not be. Now, I am not giving up hope for her and her situation... but I've learned from experience that things don't always turn out how we desire, how we pray, how we plead with God in the doorway of our homes for them to... 

They just don't. 

Because the outcomes that we want... well they aren't always His will.

So how do we react? With tears, empathy, prayers, casseroles and baked goods... 

Those words often said at funerals - you have heard them if you have lost a close loved one...

"They're in a better place."

"They aren't hurting anymore."

"I'm sorry for your loss..." (etc...)

Anyone who has been on the receiving end of those words can tell you... if we're honest... that those words don't help. HOWEVER, the sentiment behind them is what helps to heal. The look of comfort in their eyes. The squeeze of a hand, the hug and the pat on the back... those mechanisms of comforting one another... that's how we react. That's how we try to make it better. 

Does it work? I guess it depends on the person. For me, at the time... No. But in the months and years after I looked back on those hugs, those kind words, and yes even the baked goods as comfort (still to this day, someone brought a coconut pound cake that I think about!). At the deepest valley in my life friends, family, and even strangers did all they knew how to express comfort to me. Just as the Beatitude said, out comfort doesn't just come from the Lord, but also from those He places in our lives. 

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)

And furthermore, we are instructed in Romans to help bear others' burdens...

"We then, who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification... For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," (Romans 15:1-2, 4-6)

Personally, for me... learning from sorrow was very important, and thankfully was encouraged by some close friends. 

"For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment!"
(2 Corinthians 7: 8-11)

And then of course, we find the Hope in His Word in Revelation: 

"And God will wipe away ever ear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, 
nor sorrow;  nor crying." (Revelation 21: 4)

So what to we do? We do what we can... whatever the Lord lays on our hearts to do... whether it's prayer or cards or food... share tears or a hug. Join them on the walk through the Valley... you never know when you may be holding them up along the way. 

Love y'all, 

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