How in the world can I help someone else when I am so devastated by my prodigal?

How in the world can I help someone else when I am so devastated by my prodigal?

A Story by Precious Prodigal
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July 26, 2013: How in the world can I help someone else when I am so devastated by my prodigal? Please “Share” this link to a new Precious Prodigal Blog Post: http://wp.me/p1D8dQ-bS

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Gen 37:35 “And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted…”

Gal 6:2 “Bear ye one another's burdens…”

For several days, we’ve been looking at Jacob’s reaction and the wrong conclusions he came to when his sons gave him Joseph’s bloody coat. He concluded Joseph was dead, that he would grieve for the rest of his life, and that he could not be comforted. And he was wrong in each case. But there’s one last conclusion he came to. He assumed he was the only one who was hurting. He was wrong.

You see, the loss wasn’t only his. Later in the Scriptures, we read about the fear and guilt Joseph’s brothers suffered for all those years. And what about his sisters? Don’t you think they also grieved their brother and shared their father’s pain? If there were ever a time they needed their Dad, it would have been during this period of time. But Jacob was so overwhelmed by his own pain that he couldn’t see the needs of anyone else. How sad.

At our ladies’ Rose Ministry meeting this month, some women shared their testimony with the group. And it wasn’t about how spiritual they are or how God is using them. It was about their struggles and their pain, their doubts and their failures. Then it began to spread as other women also shared. Of course, I have my own “bloody coats” and, like anyone who is hurting, I sometimes can’t see past my own pain. But as I looked around that group of 30 or 40 women, I was reminded that I’m not the only one who is carrying heavy burdens.

One woman’s husband is in Iraq, another has a baby that is seriously ill, and yet another has a broken relationship with a parent. Some have overcome things in their lives that would have devastated most of us. There is incredible power in looking past your own pain and seeing the pain of others…and caring that they are hurting. All over that room, women were embracing one another and “fulfilling the law of Christ by bearing one another’s burdens” (Gal 6:2) What a powerful thing to see!

When your own heart is broken, it isn’t easy to see that others are in as much pain as you are. If you love a prodigal, that broken heart can be a constant and, if you’re not careful, that inability to see the pain of others can be a constant too. We need to be aware…I need to be aware that we aren’t the only ones affected by the prodigal. The rest of our family is hurting as much as we are. If we don’t reach out to them, who will?

Even outside my family, there isn’t one person I know who isn’t carrying a heavy burden of some kind. Reaching out to say an encouraging word or just to let them know I care will not only be a comfort to them. It will also be the balm of Gilead that brings healing to my own soul. Like Jacob, you may think you have nothing to offer. He was wrong, and so are you. As long as you have breath in your body, you can reach out and touch the life of someone who is hurting.

Challenge For Today: Can you, just for today, ask yourself what wrong conclusions you have come to about your “bloody coat?” Can you look beyond your own pain and reach out to someone who is hurting?

© 2013 Precious Prodigal


Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
July 26, 2013:
How in the world can I help someone else when I am so devastated by my prodigal?
Please “Share” this link to a new Precious Prodigal Blog Post:
http://wp.me/p1D8dQ-bS

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