Show Them You Care
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Although the Native Americans had no formal written alphabet before the Europeans came along, their language was anything but primitive. The vocabulary of many native languages was as large as that of their French and English conquerors, and often their expressions were far more eloquent. In one tongue, for example, the concept of the word “friend” is beautifully stated as “one who carries my sorrows on his or her back”. What a great definition! When someone comes to you for solace, or even claiming to seek advice, very often they want nothing more than your presence, a listening ear, and a willingness to share in their sorrow. And when your answer sounds like a “quick fix”, they sometimes conclude that you have no time for them. One of the most beautiful things ever said about Jesus in the Bible is that He is able “to empathize with our weaknesses”. Sometimes what a person wants most from you is simply to know that you understand what they’re going through, and that you care! So here’s how you can help:
1.) Listen with an open heart, instead of trying to talk away their problem.
2.) If they’re crying, share their tears. If they’re silent, share their silence.
3.) Let them know you’re available, ready to help, and that you will always have time for them.
4.) Remind them that human beings can only do so much, but God can do the impossible.
5.) If they will allow you to, pray for them and with them. That way, you help lift the burden off their shoulders and place it on God.
See Psalm 55:22 - Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Read Hebrews 4 (entire chapter)
A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
(1) Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (2) For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. (3) Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. (4) For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” (5) And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” (6) Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, (7) God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” (8) For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. (9) There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; (10) for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. (11) Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. (12) For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (13) Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Jesus the Great High Priest
(14) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin. (16) Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.