If you’ve missed the last couple of posts in this series, then this title makes no sense… but then you’re probably thinking the author of this post rarely makes sense (nothing new under the sun)! If you care to, those posts can be found here and here.
Summing up much in a nutshell, how do we minister to those enduring great trials? Do we present a loving and caring Father whose Son literally weeps for our pain? Do we offer them the omniscient and omnipotent Almighty God who knows and predetermines all… the One who is working all things out for the good of His children? Do we give them all of both… or maybe a pinch of this and a dab of that?
When things are well, it’s easy to read Scripture and come up with a take on this. It’s more difficult when your loved one is walking through the midst of a trial and the words you say or write will be influential, encouraging, or even detrimental to their situation.
There is another option, but this one is probably not available during the time of the trial. This option might be labeled preparation.
What if, when times are well, we spent our hours learning and digesting the entire counsel of our Heavenly Father? Shouldn’t we use these good times to prepare ourselves and our loved ones for what we know will come? Due to the fact that one hundred percent of all peoples have endured trials and hardships is a pretty good indicator that we will all face them again.
Shouldn’t we be prepared?
Still, the dilemma remains. How do we minister in the midst of trials?
A good friend, and one of the mentors of my life, once shared something with me that I’ve tried to keep tucked away in mind and heart: our God is bigger than we know! He demonstrated to me that ministering to the hurting almost always requires our acknowledging the frailty of our own ability.
What he meant was coming to the place where we understand we have nothing to offer anyone. We can merely be there as a vessel to those going through trials. We are only broken pots of clay… who are filled with the most valuable treasure that is available to those God places in our paths.
What does all of this mean? Possibly… From a standpoint of sovereignty… no one will cross our paths by accident… we must be prepared and available! From a standpoint of love and compassion… love as Jesus loved!
When God is at work, and we are there for Him to use, a positive result is assured.