When Someone I Care for is Deeply Hurt

griefWhen someone I care for is deeply hurt:

I feel their pain with them. I feel burning anger. I weep from the depth of my gut. I speak encouragement at some points, and keep my mouth shut at others. I hug—a lot, whether in person or in my heart.

And we do not need to hear the bumper-sticker platitude that “Everything has a purpose.” If that’s true, some things have an evil purpose, authored by the devil. And other things happen out of human fallenness, chance, heredity, or laws of physics. And a few things we just don’t understand until God shows us.

This is the truth: “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

God will let bad things happen to us. We hate that. But he does. That is the price of human freedom, of not being automatons programed to be good. Such a world would be nightmarishly meaninglessness, having no genuine relationship with other people or with God. Freedom and meaning in life includes the possibility of people’s choosing and acting badly. It’s the lesser of two evils. So God allows it. And it’s a waste of time and emotions to repeatedly ask why.

I encourage you to seek the good that God will do in the midst of, or because of, evil or misfortune.

To do that, we must walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, whether our own valley or alongside someone else’s. Sometimes that valley is long.

Some things we may never really “get over.” We will always have scars. But we re-learn how to live. Forgiveness will come, healing will come, and restoration will come.

And we will not be the same again, nor should we be, or want to be. We will care more generously, understand more deeply, cry more easily, and love with a greater embrace.

photo credit:  www.oakscounselingcenter.com