One afternoon recently, I had been lamenting about some of the hard things that 2017 brought my way. As well as many joys, I have had my good share of tears too.
Later on that same evening, I met up with some girlfriends and it seemed as though I wasn’t the only one feeling the burn of 2017. Only, my sufferings looked minuscule in comparison to some of what they had faced. I left feeling slightly ashamed at how weak I was, that I could barely bear what I had gone through – particularly in light of what they had to carry.
On the one hand, I think there is great value in perspective; being aware that even in our present sufferings, there is much to be thankful for and that God has probably saved us from a great deal more suffering than we could imagine. We can also rejoice that one day, there won’t be any more pain or tears. These truths can ensure that we do not sink down under the weight of our sufferings.
That said, minimising your own pain and pretending it doesn’t hurt because other people have greater pains doesn’t really serve anyone.
Our burdens are all different and what may be excruciating to one person, may well be just a minor irritation to another person. We are all wired differently. To compare and then squash down your feelings because you feel like you shouldn’t be feeling them isn’t helpful. God tells us to bring all our burdens to Him because He cares for us. He didn’t ask you to compare your burdens or ask only for the heaviest ones amongst us. He cares about what YOU are carrying. That pain you’ve been holding onto? Christ came to carry that. And if you really want to compare sufferings – what Jesus (who is also referred to as the ‘Man of Sorrows’) carried at the cross trumps all of our individual pains – but how wonderful that He still cares about what we are going through. No judgy looks or comments from Him. In fact, He tells us that if the pain we carry makes us feel weak and small, it’s all good! It’s His strength that we need anyway. You get no extra points for carrying your own burdens, just a bad back.
As much as I hope and pray that this year is an amazing one for each one of you reading this, please remember that in the storms – it’s okay to acknowledge your pain. Take it to Jesus. He knows a thing or two about suffering and He is the only One fully equipped to bring you safely through the other side of it.
Written by Kazstarlet
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