Bible Reading: : Galatians 6:1-5
Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
“When my Grandma died, it’s like I froze,” Ryan admitted. “My homework wasn’t getting done—especially a huge research paper for social studies. But Taylor got on the phone every night with me. He talked through the project little by little. We brainstormed a topic, talked about research sources, went to the library together to check out books, and came up with a list of questions to ask the teacher when I got stuck. Taylor even helped me get the right format for my footnotes. I couldn’t have survived that semester without his help.”
When you lose a loved one through death—or you face any other life-altering tragedy—you need more than just comfort to get through the pain.
Talk about it: What other kinds of help do hurting friends need?
Here’s a big one. Support. It’s another type of help you can offer friends who suffer. And it’s a type of assistance many of us find easy to offer. So what’s the difference between comfort and support? Check this out:
People supply comfort when they share your emotional pain.
People supply support when they help in practical ways.
Life doesn’t stop after a tragedy. But the heavy emotions you feel often drain the energy you need to keep up. When you hurt, you usually need help for a while just to get normal tasks done. You need people to carry your burdens.
You might not like to admit you need help. But don’t push away the support others offer. God put Galatians 6:2 in the Bible because he knows there are times we need the support of others. Whenever bad things happen, that’s a time to let others do things for us—like helping with homework. It’s one of God’s great ideas for meeting our needs when we need it most.
So what if I need something and nobody steps up to help? Ask for it. There’s nothing wrong with telling a trusted friend or a leader at church about our needs—and explaining exactly what kind of help we need.
God didn’t design you to go through life’s toughest moments alone. You can’t survive without both comfort and support from others. After a while your needs won’t seem as large as they do at first, but don’t expect to dive back into life-as-usual right away. Let your friends and family care for you as long as you need it!
TALK: How have you shared comfort and support with a hurting friend? How did it help?
PRAY: Dear God, get us ready to support people we know who are suffering from the pain of personal tragedy.
ACT: Think of a friend who is suffering. What does he or she need from you right now—comfort or support? How can you provide that?