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Some Helps for the Hurting

Anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other special occasions are indeed joyful times,
but for others they are junctions accompanied by heartache, grief, or pain. Galatians 6:2 says “Bear ye one
another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” The Bible verse teaches us to help bear another’s burden. We
are called to help lift, or carry, or take up someone else’s heavy load. Here are some hints to help those who are
hurting.
Helps for the helper:
1. Comfort is about being along side someone. Show up, visit, don’t stay long, unless requested. Be “there.” And
not just for the moment but for the long run. Your presence is a gift, especially as requested. Offer your time,
and prepare to be flexible. Also, take a “no” for an answer but offer them assurance that if they need you, you
can be there for them.
2. Active listening is a blessing. Listen. Listen well. Listen with understanding and patience. Prepare yourself for
hurtful words, reactions, and responses. Let your words be few, and let them talk. Perhaps they don’t want to
talk and that is fine. Again, let them know that you are able and willing to listen at their consent.
3. Offer aid. You can’t take away the hurt but you can help clean, cook, bring a meal or meals, visit the cemetery
with them, babysit, help do yardwork, shop, and find other ways to lend practical helps.
4. Write them a note. Sometimes a visit can be wearying but putting encouragements in writing is a good way to
help the hurting. Share a comforting verse, or a hymn. The Bible, especially the Psalms speak powerfully to
us because it expresses a wide range of words that gives voice to our hurts and point us to the God of all
comfort. It helps the hurting to let them know that you remember and share in their loss. Imagine the pain of
their world suddenly stopping but the rest of the world continuing. Be sincere and express your love and
prayers to them in writing.
5. Reflect on God and the Scriptures. Take for example 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. List out the attributes of God. Think
about them, study and define them. Although the Scriptures and men are a help, the true Healer of the hurting
is God. Know God well in the light of His word.
Helps for the hurting:
1. Know God well. Take for example Psalm 46. List out the attributes and works of God. Think about them, study
and define them. Use your stillness to your advantage. Contemplate the person and work of God in the light
of His word. Remember that hope and peace is derived from His word. Thank God for His presence. Find
strength in the Lord. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2. Avoid negative people and self-pity. No one grieves the same way as another therefore learn to understand
their attempts at sympathy. Prepare for unsolicited advice, and cliché’s. Sin complicates grief. While it isn’t
sinful to grieve (far from it, remember the Lord Jesus grieved at Lazarus’ grave site – in fact, grief is a token
of love) it is sinful, though, to sorrow as one without hope.
3. Bring your burden to the Lord. 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” To cast
means to throw upon or to hurl. Learn to pray, to confess, to praise, to thank, to adore, and to commune with
the Heavenly Father. Trust in Him especially when you cannot trace Him. Learn to cast your care upon Him
again and again, as much as necessary, especially during the trigger points. Remember it is okay and normal
to grieve.
4. Minister to others. Remember we are comforted to be a comfort to others. God’s grace is sufficient and will
enable you to sow His word of hope to others who are hurting. God dwells with the broken and contrite.
Study the word contrite and look up all the verses where this word is used in the King James Bible.