Loving Others in Your Pain
It’s easy to allow our pain to swallow us whole when we focus on it. However, have you considered healing through loving others in your pain?
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
I sat alone, as I often did, in the waiting room. It was a follow-up from my last miscarriage. While the wait time seemed like an eternity, the weight I was carrying felt enormous. Everyone around me looked so happy. Their news was so very different than mine. Not only did I sit alone, I felt very alone.
I could feel my pain pulling me inward. My mind couldn’t help but think about some of the calls I wish I had received from friends over the past few weeks. Or visits. I had plenty of people to love and support me, but I was battling that sneaky temptation to turn inward in my pain.
Do you know what I mean? Those deceptive thoughts like, Does anyone really care? or, I wish someone would . . .
It’s easy to allow our pain to begin to consume us, isn’t it? And even to cloud the way we see God and relate to others. We all need appropriate boundaries at times, seasons of healing, and an abundance of God’s grace to put us back together. We need the Spirit of God to give us the Father’s love, but we all need the Holy Spirit to help us turn toward others—even in our pain.
This is one of the beautiful, yet challenging, examples of Jesus’ life. Even in his suffering, he is still sacrificing. John tells us that on the cross, Jesus is still thinking of others—entrusting his mother into the care of his disciples.
What does it look like for us to follow in our Savior’s footsteps? It looks like allowing our pain to soften, not harden, our heart toward others. It looks like offering our wounds as fertile soil for God to grow compassion toward one another.
If we don’t begin, with God’s help, to think and act toward others in our pain, our pain will eventually define us.
Maybe this means beginning to pray for someone else you know is struggling.
It means sending the first text message.
Making the first phone call.
Instead of waiting, asking to get together for coffee or lunch.
My prayer for you today, friend, is that God would give you the grace to begin turning to others, even in small ways, in your pain. This is what Jesus did as he poured out love for others, even in his darkest moment. May he give you the desire to use your own pain for the good of someone else—namely to help them draw closer to God and experience his great and healing love.
Points to Ponder
What are some small or simple ways you can begin turning outward instead of inward in your pain?
Turning outward in our pain is never something we do in our own strength. As you meditate on the love of Christ, ask him to give you his heart of compassion toward others, even in your suffering. Write down the names of a few hurting people you will reach out to this week.
*This post is a devotion taken from Trusting God in All Things (aff link)
Pat & Ruth Schwenk