by Rick Warren — May 1, 2022
From God’s Prescription for a Healthy Life
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
Nobody should ever have to wait alone in the hospital while a loved one is in life-or-death surgery. No woman should ever have to wait alone for the lab report on a problem pregnancy. Nobody should ever have to wait alone for news from a battlefield. No one should ever have to stand alone at the edge of an open grave. Nobody should ever have to spend the first night alone when their spouse has just walked out.
Life’s tough times and tragedies are inevitable; each of us will face them. But you don’t need to go through them alone. You need God’s safety net to help hold you up through difficult times.
What is God’s safety net? It is a group of other believers—a handful of people who are really committed to you. We call this kind of group a community. Here’s God’s plan for community: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV). Community is God’s answer to despair.
Romans 12:15 expresses a similar idea: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (NIV).
The first part of that verse is easy to do. When something good happens to someone, it’s often easy to join in on the party.
But when someone is having a tough time, it can seem more difficult to get involved. But, really, it’s simple. When you’re going through a crisis, you don’t want advice; you just want somebody to sit with you, hold your hand, put an arm around your shoulder, or cry with you. You want someone simply to be with you.
Paul says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV). But encouraging someone else doesn’t always mean giving a pep talk or offering words of wisdom. Sometimes the best kind of encouragement is just sitting in silence, waiting and weeping with a friend.
Do you have a safety net, a group of fellow Christians that you know you can count on in life’s toughest times? If not, go out today and begin building those friendships. The hard times in life are inevitable. Don’t go into them unprepared.