When someone comes to us for comfort, or even asking for advice, our reaction is usually to try and find solutions to their problem, but they often just need our presence, a listening ear, and a willingness to share in their sorrow. If our response sounds like a quick fix to them, they might think that we don’t really have time for them. One of the most beautiful things ever said about Jesus in the Bible is: ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.’ Sometimes what a person wants most from us is just to know that we understand what they’re going through, and that we care. So here’s how we can help: 1) Listen with an open heart, rather than trying to talk away their problem. 2) If they’re crying, share their tears. If they’re silent, share their silence. 3) Let them know you’re available, ready to help, and that you’ll always have time for them. 4) Remind them that humans can only do so much, but God can do the impossible. 5) If they’ll let you, pray for them and with them. In one of the Native American languages, the word ‘friend’ is translated as ‘one who carries my sorrows on his or her back’. It’s a lovely definition that illustrates how we can support our friends by empathising with them, and also how God supports us through troubles. Psalm 55:2 says: ‘Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you’ (NLT). By listening, caring, and praying for our friends, we help lift their worries off their shoulders and place them on God’s.
Do you have a friend who is going through a difficult time at the moment? Take time today to check in with them, and put the advice in today’s reading into practice.
The UCB Word For You