Answer

The Solution to Other People’s Gloomy Circumstances

Ed, my neighbor next door, is not one to get depressed about circumstances beyond his control. I was telling Ed that I was feeling gloomy for a relative who is experiencing partial blindness that may become complete blindness. Ed scoffed at me saying that since I believe in God I should be able to ask God to restore the relative’s sight. I told Ed that I have been praying to God for healing. I explained that I can only pray and wait for God’s answer. I must trust God to bring his goodness to the situation no matter how He answers my prayer. God does not always heal. Some folks live with blindness.

Ed claims that he almost never gets concerned about his own problems. “If I have a problem, I solve it myself – if I need help to lick it, I get it. If I cannot beat the problem, I live with it. If others have a problem it is their own problem, and feeling bad for them is a waste of time.” Ed claims that so far he has been able to handle the problems of his life that have come his way. He adds that a full glass of straight whiskey can shrink any problem if you drink the whiskey down fast.

I agree with Ed that feeling bad for another person’s problem can be a waste of time if it does not move us to action. Praying for another person’s problem is one of the best things we can do for that person. God does hear our sincere prayers for others. He may use us to answer our prayers for others. We may be part of God’s answer to our prayers for a blind relative. God may want us to drive the blind person, to appointments for doctors and specialists. Who will help the blind individual function until he/she can manage on his/her own? God wants us to help the blind person as we are able to do so. If I were blind it would be my own problem, but I would appreciate those who would help me in my blindness.

Jesus promised that, when we are heavy burdened, we can come to Him to find rest. Jesus invites us to place ourselves under his yoke. As we come to him in faith, we become harnessed, bound and united with Him. He will teach us in gentleness and humbleness, to carry our burdens with His help. He will make our burdens lighter and easier to bear.

Compassion for another person cannot be demanded or forced. Thankfully, Jesus took pity on us while we were still sinners. We know what love is because Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. We also ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? We love when our words come alive in actions that help others. Christ said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul said, “Carry each other’s burdens, let us not become weary in doing good as we have opportunity. Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

 

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Raymond Maher
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