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Hope Begins To Stir Where There Was Pain

November 14, 2012

“It is hard to be seen at your worst. Perhaps that’s why our deepest tears are often shed alone. We’re afraid friends will tire of our struggles, so we keep them to ourselves, especially the ugly ones that we can’t quite manage to put behind us.

“But tears without an audience, without someone to hear and care, leave the wounds unhealed. When someone listens to our groanings and stays there, we feel something change inside us. Despair seems less necessary; hope begins to stir where before there was pain.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Connecting, Page 127

Question for Reflection:
Have you experienced this kind of hope? What else stirs in you when someone “stays there” with you during your struggles?

  1. James B. Colr permalink

    It is true that people do tire of hearing your problems so at time I do keep them to myself. And when I share them with the Father there seems to be more of a release. But, I think that some times I stop telling him because at times it is not that Father doesn’t care, but his plan is totally different than yours.

  2. Marcia permalink

    I used to have one or two people stay with me in my struggles and it gave me much hope…I’ve been praying for a community for 38 years, ever since I’ve been a believer, and I know that’s God’s heart. But because we live in a broken world, now I’m 64 and feel very much alone. Have all but given up on church, and have lost hope……

    • Ken permalink

      I understand where you are at. We’ve all been let down at one time or another by a local church. Churches are made up of imperfect people. Often they are wearing masks to hide their own hurts, issues and loneliness. But the church IS God’s design for his followers, and there are churches that do a good job of meeting people where they are at. Some have recovery programs. Some have counseling services. Some have a variety of ministries designed to reach out to those who have needs of various kinds that can be met by volunteers. Most have small groups and Bible studies where you can develop relationships with other like-minded believers. Please don’t give up on the church! Ask around to find one where attenders relate to each other with grace, compassion, fellowship, and inclusion; where the Spirit is alive and working in the hearts and lives of Christ-followers.

      • Marcia permalink

        Thanks for your input, Ken. Don’t have any idea where that church might be. Do you know of any in Colorado Springs? I’ve noticed that sometimes, the stronger the teaching, the LESS emphasis on the kind of fellowship Larry Crabb talks about. The church I just came from has excellent teaching, but the Bible studies are precept type and not much time for fellowship. When I’ve tried to share my struggles, I was met with silence or someone saying, “I just don’t know how to help you.”

      • Ken permalink

        I don’t have any suggestions off hand, but I do have friends in Colorado Springs. I’ll ask around. There are wonderful, caring churches in the Springs to be sure.

        There’s definitely something wrong when a church wants to meet your Bible study needs, but not your need for support in the struggles you face. A good church will do their best to do both–as Jesus himself did. After all, we’re called to be imitators of Christ. And Jesus didn’t go it alone while here on earth. Remember in the Garden on the night of His arrest, He asked His disciples to watch and pray with Him in His time of anguish.

  3. I love your book Connecting. You are so correct. We are often embarrassed to be seen and known in our difficult life circumstances, but Jesus calls us to take be real and be known. It takes a true brother or sister in Christ to stand with us in these times and not tire. I am learning right now, that there is no one like Jesus. He will never leave us, nor forsake us. HE is always right with us. And he understands. People may try, but at some point they will fail us.

    • James B. Colr permalink

      That is so true. We humans have limitations some self imposed and others we know it is time to let them walk on their own. But it is when we tire of each other that we fail. God ( Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is perfect and yes will never leave us even when we say “no thanks”.

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