Listening to the radio today, I heard the DJ say that she did not share the loss she experienced a few months ago because she wanted to protect others from the hurt. She then admitted that she had buried her hurt and not dealt with it until just recently. Unfortunately, I had to get out of the car before she finished her story. I have thought about that several times today. I have even thought about how I try to “protect” my family from hurts or disappointments or trials that I go through. As I thought about it, I realized that by “protecting” them I am not giving them a true picture of life as well as withholding honesty from them. Many times I might get cranky or edgy because of what is going on around me and I take it out on them. Wait a minute. There I go again letting you into the inner thoughts of my being. I want to think about a verse that I use a lot in my counseling office.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
When we think we can protect people from hurt, we believe the lie that it is our responsibility to protect others. We put ourselves in the place of God at that point.
God wants to walk us through the difficult times in our lives for His glory. He has a plan for everything that we go through. One of those plans is for us to learn about His grace and peace so that we can teach others and comfort others with the same comfort we received from God.
Now I do not believe that God plans the bad that takes place in our lives. I believe He knows about it before it ever happens. I even believe that it is written down in His book. Yes, He could stop it; but He doesn’t. Please do not ask me why He doesn’t stop it because I do not know. Lisa and I have had a few things happen over the course of our marriage that I would consider bad and hurtful. Someone else might say that our experiences have been less painful than theirs. We cannot compare one experience next to another. Everyone responds differently. What I can do is tell you that every time I allowed God to hold me and comfort me, He taught me more about Himself.
I started out talking about protecting others from pain and hurt. As I think about our experiences, God has used someone from His family to reach out with His love and mercy to provide His comfort and His teaching. As born-again believers we need to be a family that shows care, concern, compassion, and comfort with each other. Jesus told His disciples that…
John 13:35 (ESV)
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Let’s love one another and support one another. Let’s also give others opportunities to love and support us. God’s plan for the relationships of the church.