Against my wishes, I often find myself walking alongside a dear one who is suffering. As a great avoider of conflict and discomfort, just saying that this is not my forte seems like a puny statement.
Suffering does not always mean physical pain. In this case it involves failure, sadness, mental illness, and reaping the results of poor choices. It equally involves skewed childhood memories, some acknowledged truthfully and others exaggerated by raw and broken emotions.
It is no fun. I often think it looks like picking up a dull knife and ripping your abdomen open. “Stuff” spews out. It’s messy, it stinks, some of the “stuff” is important to your survival, and the rest needs to be disposed of, buried deep or burned to ashes.
And it hurts. It’s pain beyond imagining. But not all pain and suffering are evil. Some suffering is necessary, like giving birth to yourself..a new and more whole person, because the garbage inside that is poisoning you has been ripped out.
We can never be equal to this task. It is only the Spirit of God holding us together that keeps us standing and listening and loving. God alone gets any credit earned. Never us.
I pray each day for God to hold me in a steady line. I need God’s hand on my words, my thoughts, and my emotions. I must be “immovable” in the eye of this storm.
God has never failed to guide me. Thanks be to God.