You Have NO Idea
This week, it has been “hot” here in San Diego…it has gotten up to 84. Seriously. Folks are complaining, telling us how unusual this is, assuring us it’ll get back to normal soon.
We just laugh. Floridians would kill for a high of 83 in July! New friends from Arizona shake their heads – they don’t even see a low of 84 where they’re from. These San Diegans have NO idea what hot really is.
It reminded me of something I learned at a youth leaders’ conference several years ago. The speaker was addressing those of us who worked with middle schoolers. He said when we see our youth crying about broken relationships, we often minimize their heartache — come on, a 7th grade break up?? They have NO idea! Just wait until high school or college…or beyond. We know those preteen’s tears will dry up quickly, they will move on, and eventually that guy or girl will be forgotten.
But, this speaker warned, that little 12-year-old doesn’t know any of that. And, in her life, this is the worst heartache she has ever experienced. Instead of minimizing this struggle, we should teach her how to deal with it. What do we do in hard times? We cling to Jesus even more, seeking his peace and comfort and wisdom. We ask what He wants us to learn from this hard time, how we might be able to avoid that kind of heartache in the future. If we minimize their pain, we lose the opportunity to minister to them.
This is a lesson I try to remember, not just with preteens and teens, but with adults, and even with myself. Just because I have experienced “worse” than someone else – or vice versa – doesn’t mean I should minimize pain that is very real. Jesus meets each of us right where we are. He’s not there just for the “big” problems. He offers wisdom, comfort, and guidance in every situation, every day. There is no such thing as “too small” for Him.
I hope when friends come to me with issues of the heart, I listen, comfort, and never make them feel their pain isn’t real.
Issues of heat, though — I can’t make any promises. Because….84?! I just can’t.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Cor. 1:3-4