That last few weeks have been very hard on people around me. Just last week I woke up to my little brother crying in my living room, his best friend had taken his own life during the night. It’s in those moments that many times we don’t know what to say, because really what is there to say. We went through the day and got things together to fly him back to Alaska where my parents live and my little brother has spent most of his life.
On the drive down to Dallas where his plane was leaving from I desperately wanted my brother to know I hurt for him. So I brought up the fact that when I was young I lost a few friends and then I said the line I think many of us say at some point when we don’t know what to say, “I feel your pain.” After I said it I thought back to the times people said that to me. It was always nice what they said and nice that they where trying to make me feel better. But in all honesty it didn’t help.
After I said it I just sat and prayed, “God help me to really feel my brothers pain with him and not just look back to the past hurts I’ve had.” Then I paused and thought, ”God why do you allow things like this to happen to good people?” After I thought that I felt in my spirit that was the wrong question to be asking, even though that is what most ask in these times. It really isn’t God letting anything happen to us. As a father when my daughter gets hurt it’s not like I let it happen to her in fact I hate it for her. The truth is the condition of this world brought the pain. When the devil brought sin into the world it brought pain. The question should not be “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” It should really be more of a statement. “I am angry and hurt by the condition of this world and the Devil who brought it to us. I will fight to show the hurting Jesus the only one that can help them through their pain”
So many times we focus on trying to make a person “feel” better when bad things happen by relating to them with statementns like, “I feel your pain” or ”I understand how your feel” What I am beginning to learn is that people are going to hurt not matter how many times we say, “I feel your pain.” I pray that we do what I know Jesus does and that is hurt with them while warring against the originator of the pain the one who “comes to steal, kill and destroy.”
This week came more pain as many of the students in our youth ministry lost a friend who was hit by a train. (Tulsa World News) I had met this young man once or twice and from what I remember he was a good kid who cared about people. Many of my students where in deep pain this week as they saw the life of a sixteen year old full of life boy lose his life way to soon.
This time I handled things different. I didn’t say “I feel your pain.” relating to some past pain that I personally had. I prayed to Jesus “Help me experience their pain and walk through this with them. Sit with them, cry with them and feel the hurt with them. I can’t fix their pain but I can point them to you.”
You see the only one that can help heal their pain is Jesus. It’s true nothing I can say can truely help them when there is this deep amount of pain that they feel. No amount of me relating my pain to theirs will help. Only Jesus can take away the condition of this world and the death we feel inside.
I pray as Christians we read this and are willing to not try to take away the pain but walk with people through it. I pray everyday we live with an urgency and fight against the one who comes to, “steal, kill and destroy” With all the pain around me the last two weeks it has brought a new awareness to what I do. Youth Ministry is not about having a weekly service for students to come and look at the pretty lights. It’s about having a place where we point people who have so much pain to the only one who can save them from it, Jesus and then walk with them through it and to him.
Jesus saved me! I had pain that made me feel hopeless in the condition of this world. I wanted to end my life. But Jesus came and saved me from that. We are too quick to think of salvation as just our ticket to heaven. When in fact salvation is today! Salvation is from our savior who is the only true person who “feels your pain” The Bible says, “He himself has suffered.” He knows where your are and what hurt you have. I pray to walk with you through it and continue to look towards a God who has the plan to defeat the condition of death in this world. I pray we all quit asking “Why God?” and start saying, “Why are we not doing everything possible to show the hurting people around us the only true answer for their pain, Jesus”