In Sickness and in Health
I... will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow.
Teresa and I have both been blessed with great health. Teresa works diligently to keep herself healthy, and I credit my health exclusively to good genetics. We've therefore not had many opportunities to be of comfort to one another during times of sickness. Our experiences of deep comfort for one another have come during times of loss. We've each had both parents go to be with the Lord during our years of marriage, so our lessons in compassion have come during these times of sadness.
Recently, as we reflected on our ability to provide comfort, we both commented on how we had done a better job over the years, particularly in how we handled the death of family members. In years past, we would have escaped into activity or given spiritual pep talks. We would have tried to ignore the pain of hurtful times by avoiding even the mention of our loved one's name. Teresa and I were left empty during all of those times of sadness. There was something missing in our exchanges of the past. We needed something besides busyness, pep talks, and advice. We needed the compassionate heart of our spouse.
Gradually, as Teresa and I received compassion from the Lord, we came to a place where we were able to share a part of God's compassion with one another. Instead of escaping into busyness, we actually began to insist on time to hurt together. Instead of avoiding the topic, we initiated times when we talked about fond memories of the one we had lost. We learned to take turns, with one of us sharing sadness, the other giving comfort. In recent days, it's been the Lord's compassion flowing through us that has turned sorrow into joy.
How will you demonstrate God's tender compassion and relieve
your spouse's sorrow?
Lord, help me show the compassion my spouse needs to face life's ups and downs.
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