by Krissy Hanna
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
If I could rewrite this verse to better reflect my life, here is what it might say:
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; cheer up those who mourn.”
I cannot stand to see someone sad.
My husband’s father suffers from Alzheimer’s, which makes life difficult for his family. My Father-in-law, who was so successful (in nearly every way this word can be defined), doesn’t know his tribe anymore, can’t speak clearly, and struggles to dress himself. Alzheimer’s is a nasty, mind-stealing, disrespectful, and condemnable disease.
When you watch someone you love suffer from this disease, the grief can overtake you suddenly and last for years. It’s as if you are mourning a death that seems to drag on and on. My husband has been grieving the loss of his dad in stages over the past several years. Sometimes there are days when he wants to sit in silence, hurt in peace, and feel deep emotions. But in my effort to be helpful, I come bounding into his life with all these great examples of how God is bringing good even in this, while reminding him that the sun is still shining, and therefore he can to.
This is usually not helpful.
Sometimes, we need to just sit and mourn with those who are hurting. Life can be difficult, and we need to acknowledge it together.
So, may we, as those struggling to live this life well, be determined to recognize the needs of those around us and love accordingly.
God, teach us how to recognize when others are mourning, and mourn with them. And give us the energy to celebrate with those who are rejoicing.
P.S. I do believe that there are times when the Holy Spirit nudges us to give an encouraging word to someone who is hurting and to help give that person a new perspective on his or her situation. I am reminded of Christ’s words when he said, “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But, take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Take heart, my friends, Jesus has overcome the world! 🙂