I like being around people who talk about pleasant things and I like to talk about pleasant things, too. However, I also need to be around people who are not afraid to share their hurts with me and who invite me to share mine.
Life is plain tough sometimes. When others share their hurts, they let us know that we are not alone. If I never tell others the painful things I am going through, they might get the wrong impression that everything in my life is perfect, leaving them wondering why they are the only ones suffering. They may even falsely believe that God loves me more than He loves them.
During one of Ray’s and my deepest losses, we clung tightly to the knowledge that friends of ours had been through something similar and survived—not only survived, but survived with deep faith and deep joy. The wife of that couple was, in fact, one of the most joyful and faithful people I have known. If she had only shared her joys and not her sorrow with me, I wouldn’t have had the blessing of knowing she made it and I could, too.
In John 16, Jesus said that we will have tribulation. While that tribulation is going on, it is easy to wonder whether God really loves us or not. The truth is that He does love us. The real question is not whether He loves us, but whether we love Him — no matter what.
Bear one another’s burdens,
and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.