The Trouble Paradox
When troubles line up in what seems like an endless parade, feelings of despair or helplessness can be overwhelming. One way out of this downward spiral toward depression is to reach out to someone else. Our own difficulties seem less threatening and all‐consuming when we are busy helping someone else handle theirs. The possibilities for helping others are limitless. Visit the sick. Bake something for your neighbors. Do household chores for an elderly shut‐in. Use your car for those without transportation. And, perhaps most important, be a good listener. Sometimes what a person needs most of all is simply a friend who will share his or her life for a few moments.
This is one of the powerful paradoxes of the Christian life: When we share someone else’s pain, we often shed some of our own. When we help others, we end up helping ourselves. When we lift another’s burdens, ours lighten.
Just between us . . .
• What do you do when you’re discouraged or depressed?
• Am I helpful to you when you’re feeling down?
• In what ways did Jesus minister to the downhearted? Is there someone in a difficult situation who could use our help?
Dear God, thank You for Your goodness during trouble. Increasingly, make us Your instruments to help others in need. Help us to share Your comfort and testify to Your great faithfulness. Thank You that we’ll be blessed in doing so. Amen.
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.