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  • Writer's picture~Kimberly Oden

Sympathy Never Satisfies

Sometimes the Lord sees fit to take us on a scenic route of suffering. I think I’m traversing those lazy back roads right now & to be honest, I’d rather take the highway to the place of healing.

I received a seeming bad report yesterday from the doctor which requires an MRI & will be costly. My heart felt like it stopped beating for a moment when the doctor described what she saw...

I sent word to my close friends & the beautiful thing is that none of them sympathized with me.

Sympathy is so unsatisfying when you are the receiver & for me, can cause a feeling of injustice to rise👉🏽then I begin to question the goodness of God.

In the last few months, when my friends who are strong in the faith heard of the hard things unfolding, their response has held one singular thread: Empathetic Encouragement wrapped firmly in Truth.

None of them said, “I’m sorry that...”, but rather responded with, “Wow! God must have great things in store!” or “He’s setting the stage to reveal His glory.”

My sweet friend Susan sent me this text just yesterday:

“ Pondering suffering this am Kimberly.  Remember that we can’t give away what we don’t own.  Let’s take a little mental journey:  

👉🏽Debt? When He obliterates it, we can pray in authority for others.  

👉🏽Relational woes? When He reconciles, we can pray in authority for others. 

👉🏽Sickness/bad report? When He heals & brings the good report, we can pray in authority for others. 

Anything the enemy throws at us & means for our demise, God turns around for our good, for the good of others & for His Glory.  There isn’t ANYTHING that can separate us from His Love & Goodness.  

Y’all, today in Psalm 31, David runs to the Father with eyes blurry from tears. Right in the middle of his lament, however, he says, “But I’m trusting you, O Lord...You are my God & my future is in your hands.”

Whether you are in the scenic route of suffering or you are walking alongside a friend who is, it is wise to remember that sympathy never satisfies. Truth, however, of Who God is, of what He’s done & what He has yet to do, will strengthen anyone in suffering. His Word never returns void & any sort of suffering He allows, will be used for our good, others good & His glory! We need only the childlike heartstance of David, proclaiming our trust in Him alone.

August 10th One Year Bible Readings Ezra 10:1-44 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 Psalm 31:9-18 Proverbs 21:3


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