To privately carry the sorrow of another

Leann Williams shares in this morning's Fruit of the Vine of a time her obedience to a prompting from God led to a painful discovery: "I had been working with a massage client on what she thought was a pulled groin muscle. I felt directed by God to do some abdominal work. It was then I felt a mass low in her abdomen." The woman was known and loved in the community, but "medical ethics prevented me from sharing the situation until her diagnosis was made public. God asked me to privately carry her sorrow with her."

To privately carry the sorrow of another - this is the work of the pastor, of the counselor, of the friend. Leann points out that it was also the work of the prophets who "carried deep sorrow over the failure of their people to obey God." But there is room for hope alongside the private sorrows we carry for one another. God's messenger brought three encouragements to the prophet Daniel in 10:19 - "Do not be afraid; peace; and be strong!"

Are you carrying the sorrows of someone close to you? Are others also carrying your sorrow? Do not be afraid. Peace. Be strong.

And if that is too much, then Daniel's prayer might be the prayer you need: "O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!" Because, as Leann reminds us, "We are not alone in this work. Jesus carries our sorrows with us."

Eric Muhr