My brother and sister-in-law suffered a fire in their home last Monday night. The inside of their home is destroyed by fire, smoke and water. They also lost four pets due to smoke inhalation.
When a person faces tragedy or trauma, many of their friends shy away from talking about it. Either we don’t know what to say or we are afraid that talking about it will upset them.
Whether we talk about it or not, truth is, it is upsetting!
As you can imagine, my brother and sister-in-law are in traumatic shock. Emotions ranging from grief to disbelief to anger to gratefulness pulse through them.
My brother shared with me that he couldn’t sleep the first night after the fire. His mind rattled through endless scenarios. He couldn’t shut off his mind to allow sleep to take over.
If you have ever suffered from a traumatic event you probably identify with them.
The thing most of us do when suffering like this is exactly the opposite of what we should do.
We run. Away from the pain. And our friends often enable this.
We stop talking about it. We find ways to escape the pain. We bury it deep inside. We move on…like that is possible.
The One Person who holds our life in His hands meets us in the midst of suffering.
When we run from the pain and suffering, we are most likely running from the very Person who can comfort.
In order to meet God in our suffering, we must remain in the pain.
There He walks with us, in fact carries us. He shows us who He is and how He loves us.
My brother was reading an article—Litany of Grace by Winn Collier—when he received the call about the house fire.
The article speaks to God’s steadfast love. God doesn’t abandon us in our toughest moments. Interesting how God was preparing my brother even in that moment.
We can follow the lead of the people of Israel’s lead and remind ourselves of this truth. If you need that today, read Psalm 136.
Jesus Christ is called “Man of Sorrows.” The prophet Isaiah declares that Jesus would be acquainted with grief.
He did not run from suffering. He embraced it. He not only understands our pain, He intimately knows what it is like.
So if you are suffering or in pain today, I urge you not to run or look for an escape. Stay right where you are and invite Jesus to walk with you through the pain.
How do you respond to pain? How has God met you in your time of suffering?