a good day to know where to go when you are hurting.
“Never abandon a friend – either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.” Proverbs 27:10 NLT
We are all aware that a life full of the glory and the grace of knowing God does not mean there will be no times of hardship. It does not mean that we will never know the suffering that accompanies the death of a loved one. It does not mean tragedy will not befall us, nor does our relationship with God mean we will never lose a job or have a car accident.
It is not written anywhere that we are safe from any of these trials, as well as others, and there certainly are no guarantees made to that affect anywhere in the Bible. Quite the contrary, in fact.
That subject is addressed throughout the Bible, as in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians when he described what was taking place at the churches in Macedonia: “They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” (2 Corinthians 8:2 NLT).
So in spite of all of their troubles, and despite the fact they were very poor, they appeared to be full of joy. How can this be? Because of their relationship with God. They obviously knew to turn to God first in time of trouble, but they seemed to also have learned another valuable lesson: To look towards each other for strength and support.
The Lord is the first person we turn to for anything in our lives, but God also wants us to turn to our families for support: Spouses, children, brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, our brothers and sisters often live far away, and our troubles may concern the health – or even the death – of a spouse or child. While our spiritual comfort can certainly be found in the Lord, He wants us to turn to our friends and our neighbors who are close to us and can offer the physical comfort that we all require from time to time.
While God can listen to our hearts, and our distant family can listen to our voices, our next door neighbors and close-by friends can give us a much needed hug, hold our hand, cook us a meal, sit with us for a while, take us to a movie, go for a walk with us, watch our children, or any one of dozens of other things that can mean so much to us in our times of need.
In your time of need, always look to God first. And by all means go ahead, pick up the phone and call a relative far away. Then seek out those friends and neighbors who are close-by and always available to help when you are hurting.
And always remember to provide that kind of comfort, as well as your prayers, to them as well.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson