Saturday, January 2, 2016

Connecting with Others through a Fellowship of Suffering

A Fellowship of Suffering

When do you feel the most connected with other people?

Is it by being part of a team?
Perhaps while watching a special event?
Maybe going through boot-camp in the military?

There are many life circumstances 
where we might feel connected to another person.
If you had to choose, 
which event would seem most memorable?

  • During the birth of a child?
  • At a graduation ceremony?
  • Or, walking with someone else through the loss of a loved-one?
Statistics show we may remember a few people,
but we tend to forget the large majority we were with.

As an example, perhaps who was at your wedding,
who was there for your first child's birth,
or when your team won the championship.

Yet research shows -
it is the times of greatest hardship
that form the deepest memories of other people.

Those who serve together in the military forge bonds created in few other places.
A nowadays, new research finds that Cross-fit has a huge following,
simply because people experience together the difficulty.

So the better questions might be:
do we make stronger connections with others
through times of joy, or pain?

I would say it is the times of darkest struggles when we need strength,
and we look to one another for support.

Have you ever wondered why so many people cry out to God when pain arises?

Maybe its because, when life is good, we feel sufficient in ourselves.
But when we are at the end of ourselves,
we see no other way out, and it is our nature to call for assistance.

And though as we grow-up, we lose faith in both God and people,
we still have the tendency to cry out to Him for help.

Oh God!
Help me!
Save me!
Give me strength!

And here is where the two paths diverge...
memories are made through both good and bad times.
We will develop stronger relationships with people who have suffered together.
But when no one else is there, 
it is God who provides,
what no one else can.

I love my wife;
we struggled together through my incarceration,
and afterwards- through my joblessness and recovery,
but one day, one of us will pass-on,
and when that occurs, we will recognize it was always God,
who brought us through the difficulty,
It was God,
who gave us strength to support one another,
It was God,
who provided other people to help us through.
And, it will be God,
who carries us through when the other is gone.

So thank God for the people who support you through life's challenges.

How can we come to know a deeper relationship with God during times of adversity?

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