The day before one of the worst days of my life, I found out that a friend was dying. She was relatively young at the time.
But did I expect her to set aside her suddenly having to face death and “not grieve” that, just because I was homeless (etc.)? Of course not! And did she expect me to set aside my troubles and “minimize” them because she was dying? Of course not! She prayed for me, and I prayed for her.
It’s so easy to feel like our troubles don’t matter because someone else’s troubles are so great. Or, that someone else is whining about “nothing” compared to what we are going through.
One way I like to look at this is through my 9-year-old self’s eyes. Some say that their childhood is carefree and they began to feel the responsibilities and trials of life more as an adult.
Not so with me. I had a VERY happy childhood, but apparently I was born a very serious child in some ways. When I was only around 9 years old, my grandfather commented to my dad that I was a worry-wart! He was right!
So, when I faced a 9-year-old child’s struggle, it seemed huge to me. Sometimes I ended up very distressed. Did my parents shoo it aside (and shoo me aside) and coldly say I was silly? No! They helped me through it.
In the same way, any one of us cannot truly know how a certain trial or suffering is affecting another human being. Each one has different skills, background, hurts, wounds, and difficult experiences that may play into our current trials. Thus, to judge someone else’s trial as “not that bad” is very unwise.
On the other hand, when Jesus saw Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with a fever, did He say to her: “Oh, your fever isn’t nearly as bad as the troubles of the paralyzed guy I just healed.” No, of course not! He had compassion on her.
In the same way, Jesus comes to each of us in our own needs. He does not minimize our hurts, and neither should we.
Has someone minimized your hurt? How did it feel?
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730