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Standing With Those Who Are Suffering


By: Kristen L. McNulty

This devotion first aired on the MAD Christian Radio Show

Right now people are suffering. Watching the news for even thirty seconds makes that much obvious. Innocent civilians are dying in wars not of their own choosing. People are being afflicted with suffering and disease. Lives are being destroyed by addictions. But those are just stories we hear on the news. Close to home, people all around us are suffering too. Children are growing up without parents. Our friends are facing heartbreak or grief. Our family members are going through turmoil and upheaval. People are hurting and people are suffering.

Unfortunately all too often we get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of pain around us and instead of trying to elevate it, we become paralyzed by it. If that’s the way you’re feeling today, believe me, I get it. As much as it seems like a lot for us though, we need to remember that it’s even more for the people who are going through it, so we need to find a way to push past our fears or hesitation and actually do something to help. After all, if you’ve ever been in a dark or painful season, you know how much of a difference someone else’s presence can truly make. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been through really painful moments and seasons and someone stepped in and did something that truly made me feel not alone or loved in that place. Like:


The person who knew I was at the end of my rope, feeling completely overwhelmed, and showed up to my door with my favourite coffee as a pick me up.

Or the friend who knew I had been in the hospital a while and was probably lonely so she walked a few kilometres in a northern Ontario snow storm just to come visit me.

Or the friend who knew how crushed my family and I were after we lost my grandfather rather suddenly and came to the house with food and words of encouragement.

Or the people at my church who brought meals over when a family member was recovering from surgery to remove cancer so I didn’t need to worry about cooking and could just be a caregiver.

Or the family members who showed up with ice cream and a movie when I was stuck in bed recovering.

Or my nephew who delivered one of his favourite electrolyte drinks to help me recover from surgery.

Or the friends who knew I had a period in my life with high medical bills so they went into the office of one of the practitioners on my health team and pre-paid for my next series of appointments.

None of these people changed what I was going through. They couldn’t magically remove the bad circumstances from my life. But they showed up and they showed me love and I believe it’s my responsibility and yours to give that same gift to other people. Because it’s more than just a nice idea, it’s actually the calling we have as believers. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 teaches us,

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

And then over in Romans 12:15,

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

And then in Galatians 6:2-3 it’s taught to us a little more bluntly when it reads,

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.


This is our calling. We cannot change the circumstances of the people around us. We cannot remove pain from the lives of the people around us. But we can show up and we can love on those we know who are hurting.

So make a meal and bring it over to the family who is going through a health crisis.

Offer to babysit for the single mom who needs a break.

Give your friends and neighbors your listening ear and really hear them when they are talking about what they are going through and offer a word of encouragement when you can.

Give a gift card to your friend who is struggling financially.

Cover a mortgage payment or a utility bill for the person you know is out of work.

Offer a place to stay for someone who needs a roof over their head.


There are so many different ways you and I can show care and compassion for the people we cross paths with. Sharing the same comfort we have received from Christ and reminding them that even in suffering, they are not alone. Closing with a reminder from Galatians 6:9-10

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Galatians 6:9-10