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Wednesday: To Help the Hurting — 14 Comments

  1. Right now I am hurting. Yesterday, I dropped my bird photography camera and smashed it. Apart from moderating and commenting on Sabbath School Net, a fair bit of my life centres around taking photographs of birds and sharing them with others. And suddenly I cannot do that. I sat is the bush for a while and then I sent a message to my birding group that I had had a disaster. They are a great bunch of people. They commiserated and sent messages with tears and hearts. They made jokes about the situation in a typical Australian manner. They told me that I had done it on purpose so that I could get a new camera and so on. It was just good to know that I had a great group of friends who knew how much I was hurting and were encouraging me with their cheeky comments.

    In the grand scheme of things, my hurt is a mere ripple in the ocean of life. I will replace the camera and will be out there with my friends and the birds once again. But the episode reminds me of the importance of friends when you are hurting.

    There are folk whose hurt does not go away. Fractured relationships, debilitating accidents, clinical depression, financial disasters, and so on. We so often provide inane comments like, "Jesus will make it better!" Really caring is much more than thinking up nice or wise things to say. Sometimes it is just a matter of listening.

    Have you ever been in a situation where you are in trouble and everybody starts offering you advice about what you should do? Usually it's not all that helpful. Remember the story of Job. After Job and lost his flock and family, and was covered with boils his friends came.

    And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great. Job 2:12,13 KJV

    That was the good bit. it was after that they started to offer explanations and advice that they got themselves into trouble.

    Listening is a powerful medicine for hurts!

    • Maurice,
      Sorry to hear about your camera... I love the birds myself and miss them (especially waking up to their songs) when most of them leave for winter. Which is my current season here in Washington State (USA). I think you are having your spring / early summer there in Australia.

      Hopefully you will have a new camera soon. Thought now would be a good time to remember how special we are to God...

      Matt 6:25-26 "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

      As a side note you made a comment a while back about and author Adrian Plass - I have been enjoying his journals - Thanks I needed the laugh.

    • You're so talented, Mr. Ashton. Yes, listening can be all that I can offer. However, sometimes, instead, I can be ruthless. Instead of listening, I start firing some words to justify the attention I want, not the person who came to me with the need to tell. May God have mercy and change me into a perfect listener so I can follow the practical order, knowing first what my neighbor needs, then afterward, if necessary, saying something constructive, not selfish, filled with Love because I am in Love with Jesus!

    • Sorry to hear. You have brought joy, comfort, smiles, and a reminder of how great God is when you share your photography on the birds.

    • This morning, as I was about my business, while crossing the road, I saw someone driving a very sleek car. Looking at him we saw him yawn. The I told my friend, "you say you are suffering, see that guy yawning." He said he is maybe because he is tired. Tired while driving a sleek car? Does the rich get tired? Why?
      Well, everyone has a degree of suffering. I may not know how it feels to be tired while rich, but sure, talk to them, they get tired too.
      And, those whom we perceive to be rich, at some points they are poor. Those whom we see having happy pictures, some are heartbroken but just hiding behind smiles.
      As followers of Christ, let's get closer to them, know their story and learn how to lift them up for eternal healing.

  2. If deep within our heart we cannot offer an immediate solution we should still take time to listen to the hurting....then go away and ask God to show you how to address this need urgently,shoe empathy and understanding and endeavour to return with an action plan after seeking the Lord

  3. “The world will be convinced not so much by what the pulpit teaches as y what the church lives.”
    Heavenly Places p. 324
    Ecclesiastes 3: To everything there is a season……A time to listen, a time to talk…….

  4. The world has become a selfish place where, more and more, people are looking out only for themselves and close friends and relatives.

    This lesson is a stark reminder that anyone who is in need of help is my neighbor and a big part of mission is to meet people at the point of their need.

    May God soften our hearts to respond to the needs of those around us!!!!

  5. I do believe helping the hurt is step 2 of Mondays lesson. Though before we are done ministering through fruition, may have gone through step 1-5. Find some one needy, give sympathy, more than just words minister to their hurting, wheither it br physical, or emotional. Then administer to spiritual needs if they are open, which may be weeks, months, or years. 4b is to keep in contact.

  6. It's nice when people listen. It takes the wait off one's heavy shoulders. It's like just what the Doctor (Jesus), ordered.

    I have offloaded unto two good friends of mine at times, who truly listened to me rant and rave and vent. I know they were truly listening because, when they said something, it was always seasoned with salt. Never just a response, or something subjective. They offered insightful input. For this I am grateful.

    I hope and pray that I can be a good listener and blessing to anyone who needs my unburdened shoulders.

  7. Listening is a big part and just being there,being present, I often find a human touch like a big hug will also help a great deal. Sharing each other's sorrows or sadness can be supportive by many forms of human expression. I ve often cried with my friends, Sharing tears of sadness as well as joy can provide great support and show the love of Christ

  8. I often wonder What it is that prevents Jesus Christ’s Gospel message of love and peace to be more prominently established around the world for the benefit of all mankind? Or is it? I am certain that the world would be in much worse shape if it was not for the Holy Spirit pouring out God’s love into the believer's hearts to cause them to walk in the path of righteousness, peace and good will toward their fellow man.

    Personally, the focus of my help is mostly toward preventing people from falling into the snare of dependency. If they are Christians, I advise and help them to build a closer relationship with our Lord and Savior, knowing that if they do so, the Holy Spirit will convict their heart to show where their faith is weak, and where they will want to ask for help to strengthen them.

    I consider poor lifestyle choices to be a major reason why so many people become destitute and in need of emotional and practical help. Most of them have heard of Jesus but do not know Jesus personally. Opening their eyes that He provides life-saving advise is what I pass on: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”<

    Educating, interceding, helping to prevent falling into destitution is my preferred form of helping. Would it not be of a great impact if Christians were more involved in ‘lifestyle classes’ to teach Christian principles toward establishing a stable and peaceful life?
    In my opinion, it is equally if not more important to prevent falling into destitution then to organize to help after the fact. It appears to me that the organized church could do much more on the side of prevention by teaching practical applications of Christian principles beneficial for life by faith to those choosing the Way of life by faith – Prov. 22:6.

  9. I think maybe the problem for us when it comes to witnessing or doing acts of service or whatever is that we become overwhelmed by the needs and feel we can't meet them so we become somewhat paralyzed. But despite what the lesson says we aren't called to meet the needs of all people. We can't do this as individuals and I'm not sure we can even do that as church congregations. But that doesn't mean we can't meet the needs of some people God puts in our paths. If you focus on your people and I focus on my people there will be ripple effects that make a huge difference. And ultimately God is working to meet their needs even more than we can.


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