Luke 19:41, “He saw the city and wept over it”
John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus told us in John 16:33 that in this world, in this lifetime, we will have trouble. There will be pain, tribulation, and suffering, and in the wake of trouble comes heartache. Heartache is a common human experience. We all know what it is because we’ve all been through it. Sorrow, sadness, distress, anguish, despair, grief, despondency and misery are other words, which could be substituted for the word heartache. Thus, heartaches – the world is full of them! No matter how old, wise and mature we become, we will always have conflict in our relationships such as:
(1) A little girl is mocked at her school because she has an underdeveloped arm;
(2) A widow vividly remembers the day her husband committed suicide;
(3) Parents grieve over a son who is rebelling;
(4) A man lovingly and patiently cares for his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease and doesn’t even know him;
(5) A pastor resigns because of vicious lies told about him, and
(6) A wife anguishes over her husband’s unfaithfulness after 30 years of marriage.
My friend, such heartaches have caused many people to almost drop out of life altogether. And other individuals have gone to the opposite extreme wherein they try to lose themselves in a flurry of activities. Maybe you’re reading this and you’re going through a difficult time in your life. If so, we can learn how to handle the heartaches of life if we look at the life of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. His heart was at the point of breaking as He contemplated what would happen to beloved Jerusalem. He let Himself cry. Then He continued in the work He came to do – confronting sin, teaching the people, and instructing His disciples. My friend, if your heart is aching, admit your hurt to yourself, to others, and especially to God. This will open the door to getting the help you need from the Lord and from people who care about you.
So, what can we do or say to someone who is hurting because of some unpleasant heartache they are experiencing? For starters we could say something like this: “I’m so sorry. I wish I had some answers for you.” Or, “I can’t imagine how hard it is for you to deal with this, but please know that I care and will be here if you need someone to just sit with you. No need to talk. No explanations needed. Just someone in the room.” Lastly, we can say, “I don’t know the confusion and betrayal you feel right now, but I will pray for you during this time.” While writing this, my thoughts were of our Lord, Jesus Christ, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Support is what Jesus wanted from Peter, James, and John in Gethsemane as He faced Calvary (Matthew 26:37-38). On the cross as the world’s sin-bearer, He would experience His Father’s wrath and abandonment. That was the awful cup He prayed would be taken from Him (v. 39). In that darkest hour, He looked to His disciples for prayerful alertness and compassion. But, oh, how they disappointed Him! The sight of His sleeping disciples must have made the isolation of Gethsemane that much more painful (v. 45). My friend and brethren, if Jesus Christ looked to human support in His crisis hour, how much more do we, as believers in Christ, need one another when we’re going through heartache and suffering! Let’s be willing to ask someone to pray for us and with us. And let’s be alert for opportunities to lend our support to others who are suffering.
Oh, how we need support in times
Of heartache and despair –
Upheld in prayer by saints of God
Who understand and care! – DJD
People who suffer with heartaches need more than sympathy – they need companionship