Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Hurt Beyond Our Own

Why is it that we often times we hurt so bad for others?  Don't mistake the hurt I am talking about for the hurt we get when the sufferings of others make us uncomfortable.  We are talking about two totally different things here!  I have been thinking about this for several days now as I have truly been hurting for a family that I just met.  Is it not enough that we often times hurt so bad due to our own suffering, that we should have to hurt for others too?  I would like to suggest that it is not. Absolutely not enough! Before I go any further I want to thank God that He has given me enough grace and kindness to hurt deeply for others and through the study of James has helped me the realize it.. I know that this may all sound strange, especially if you are going through your own suffering right now, but I hope by the time we get to the end, you will understand.

As I look back over my career as a labor room nurse and NICU nurse prior to that, I can remember many happy times.  By the same token, I can remember many devastating ones.  Just the other day my friend Dawn was reminding me how devastated I was all those years ago when I saw a baby die for the very first time.  I can remember my heart just feeling like it was ripped into pieces.  That poor family, how would they, how could they go on.  I just didn't understand.  And although I had been a christian for many years by that point, my walk with God was fairly immature.  I had no doubt where that precious baby would spend eternity, but I didn't understand how God would ever get this family through this terrible situation.  And many times since then, I have been witness to this same type of situation more than I could ever have imagined this kind of thing existed.  Why these precious babies?  The ones that cross the gates of heaven before they ever take a breath, the ones that their only time here on earth are the few minutes they are comforted in there parents arms as Our Father prepares to take them home, and the ones that we are allowed to love for how many ever precious days or months God gives us with them. 

I don't know why bad things happen to good people.  For that matter I don't know why bad things happen to people at all.  I do not believe for one minute that God causes them to happen, but I do believe that He allows it.  That being said, I fully believe in a God of miracles and I believe that God absolutely has the power to stop bad things from happening.  I don't know why He allowed my girls to be taken from us, or why all those other babies, or why that mother that I met this week that may very well end up losing hers. (By the way I am very proud to tell you all that she too believes in our God of miracles and is lifting prayers one after another).  I do know that He could have stopped it.  He could have spared my heart the suffering.  But I have also come to realize through my suffering what is best stated by Laura Story.

"There is a depth of intimacy with God that can only be known through suffering. 
There is a realiance on Him that can only be experienced when everything else around
my soul seems to give way."

I also believe that it is during times of pain and suffering, whether our own or someone elses, that our prayers are the most heartfelt and earnest.  It really is shameful.  Shameful that hurt is often what it takes for us to remember to pray for those we have promised our prayers.  Shameful that hurt is the major reminder of God's most precious law.

"Love your neighbor as yourself."  Leviticus 19:18

I wish now that as I read through the Bible I had counted the times that this is mentioned as the sum of the entire law.  It is all over the Bible; Old and New Testaments.  I believe that it is in part because of this law that we hurt so bad for others.  As a reminder of love.  Love that God instructed us to display to others, to all!  To remember them and pray for them at all times.  Like I said, hurt often leads to our deepest, most heartfelt prayers.

I am ashamed to say that there have been times that the prayers I promised never went up.  Not because I don't believe or because I didn't have the intention to pray for them, but partly because prayer had just slipped as a priority.  Over the past several months it has become the number one priority.  To pray for myself and others.  Many others!
It has been my great priviledge to hold dear to my heart the value of prayer and the instruction given on it in God's Word.  And then to watch Him deliver.  He really does care about every detail in our lives.  Even the little ones.  Our hurt and the hurt we feel for others.  He feels it my friends; just as deeply as we do.

  "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds
of prayers and request. With this in mind, be alert and always
keep on praying for all of the saints."
 Ephesians 6:18

  "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances,
for that is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is
powerful and effective." 
James 5:16

I still have many unanswered questions.  Some of which may never be answered this side of Heaven, but one thing is for sure:

"I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back."
 Philippians 3:12-14 (The MSG)

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