Do You Care for the Hurting?

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” – Isa. 40:1

God has given me great compassion for the many folks I’ve ministered to during their final weeks and days. Some have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord close to the end. Although it’s never easy to say good-bye to these friends, it’s not as difficult when I know I will eventually see them again in heaven.

We will all face that day when the physical temple collapses. How we face that time is directly related to how we view our relationship with God. I’m convinced that those who really know Him eventually welcome the opportunity to escape the pain and sickness aging brings. It’s the letting go of loved ones, no matter how temporary we know it is that burdens our hearts. Consider the following story:

Wish You Enough

At an airport, I overheard a father and his daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane’s departure and standing near the door she said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough too, Daddy.” They kissed good-bye and she left.

He walked over towards the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all that my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?” I asked.

“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, her next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying good-by, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more. “When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them,” he continued. Then, turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory: “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough ‘Hellos’ to get you through the final ‘Good-bye.’” Sobbing, he walked away.

No matter how final our good-byes feel, let’s not let them really be “forever good-byes.” May God fill our hearts with enough compassion for the sick, the aged, and the dying, that we nurture them, pointing them to Christ for strength, for peace, and for their eternal salvation. He is everything we need. He, above all else, is truly enough!

The Power of Truth:

“Praise be to…the Father of compassion…who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Cor. 1:3-4

“And my God will meet all your needs…” Phil. 4:19a

Suggestion for Prayer:

Ask God how you can demonstrate His compassion.