Nothing lasts forever. The seasons change, children grow into adults, our loved ones die, our world changes. Each of us goes through seasons in life. When we read a novel, character development, plot, and setting all weave together to reveal one main truth. But when we are living our own story it can prove difficult at times to see the point. There’s an advantage to having the outside view.
Wisdom comes through life experiences and learning to decipher the time in which we live. The author of Ecclesiastes declares that while we struggle to understand God and eternity, every season is beautiful in its time (3:10). Knowing which season we are walking through is vital to partaking in that beauty.
In Romans 12, Paul speaks of the body of Christ having many members and how each of us is intricately connected to one another. We are called to love and honor one another, to pray for each other, and to show hospitality. In verse 15 we are also told to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Walking with the hurting is uncomfortable. It requires a willingness to enter into suffering that is not our own, and yet it is a beautiful place to stand. Christ did not turn a blind eye to suffering. Instead he entered the difficult places and ministered to those who needed him. We are called to do the same.
We are not to shy away from the one who is fighting mental health issues or physical ailments. Showing up and being present for the journey with them makes our hearts vulnerable, but it adds the beauty of compassion to their lives and our own.
To walk with the hurting, we must look across the aisle with empathy. Learn to see the fears and traumas that have contributed to a dividing culture within the body of Christ. Acknowledge the racial tension and stigmas within our own church and weep with those who weep. Until we acknowledge the division, we cannot build the unity we were called to as believers.
Life in the body of Christ should feel victorious. It is not a call to pessimism as we await something better in heaven. God created the earth and everything in it and declared it good (Genesis 1:31). Often we begrudgingly give praise to others for the gifts God has given them, wondering why we did not receive the same. We were called to celebrate those gifts not to covet them. A blessing to one member of the body is a blessing to all of us. Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Some of us are better at walking with those who are suffering and forgetting to see the joy when it comes. Others of us celebrate the victories but turn a blind eye to our sisters and brothers who are weeping and mourning. It is truly beautiful when we come together and both celebrate the joy and lament the pain. When we give generously of our hearts and our time, we begin to more fully understand and love one another just as Christ commanded (John 13:34).