I hate planes.
It's not that I hate the flying part, or that I'm scared of being s high above the ground. I actually rather enjoy that part.
But I hate all the security, and how rude everyone can be. And one time in particular I had a bad experience because they didn't like my skirt or my ID.
Of course this wasn't exactly the worst thing in the world. Many people have had many much more terrible experiences, to the point that they were truly violated or their lives in danger.
And one person made sure to tell me this when I told them why I didn't like flying.
That's all I can think when someone says your fears or struggles are unbiased because of others' real struggles.
You scrunch up and feel guilty. It's like someone is saying, “You don't know what real pain and fear is, because you have been too sheltered. You don't even know how to truly love God, because you have never really been tested.”
Or maybe they outright say this.
You're like, “So all this stuff going on in my mind has been dramatized? I don't actually have struggles?”
In that case you are can be like... “Well, let's just smile then. And enjoy life.”
And if that were the extent of your trial it may be easy. But normally it's not.
I was talking to a friend recently who is going through a very hard time, emotionally and with close people in her life. Sometimes I get so riled up for her (and others) when I think great people are so blindly “persecuting” someone as dear as her with their words and actions. And it's as if they are blind.. yet think their eyes are wide open!
“I know the feeling,” I told her. “ 'God why me? Why now? Why can I not have just this one thing?' His tests are pretty hard sometimes. Too hard, to bear, it feels. We are told we have it easy compared to others. But do we? Or is this just man's way of saying 'I don't care about you.'?
“ 'What you are going through is just a lie from the devil.' We are told. But is it? Sure God heals, but one of the realities of sin is that life is horrible. Even great men in the Bible screamed and yelled at God, questioning the pain in their lives.
“Rough times exist.
“No matter the level humans set trials at, our trials, our emotional stress, our struggles, all we go through is the same. It's all hardest for each individual.
“It's wrong for people to say, 'Look how good you have it compared to so and so.' You know what? That's all compared to human standards! People don't need a, 'You're okay, just look at Africa.' They need a hug, some comfort, a few words of encouragement.”
“If any thing is a lie from the devil, it's the belief that what we go through doesn't matter.”
It's all great and good to think nothing but certain catastrophes matter and are worthy of depression, but the words, “Get over yourself. Remember the kids in Africa – the ones that are dying because of lack of clothes and food. You have it good. No one in America truly suffers.” are not a way to comfort someone.
Neither is the statement, “What you're going through is a lie from the devil.”
What does that accomplish? Nothing but unnecessary guilt on the victims part. And pent up emotions and trials that they don't know what to do with since they obliviously shouldn't have them.
My above first example wasn't very good But I think you got the point. Hopefully. Haha.
We all go through things – and sometimes those things aren't as big and ugly in appearance as starving children in Africa.
But to our minds, to the reality we know, they FEEL just as big and ugly.
To us they ARE JUST AS BAD AS STARVING TO DEATH.
Because this is the very REAL and UGLY struggle God has placed into our lives and minds.
And because of that, we need to remember one thing: Don't tear other people down farther by telling them what they go through is unreal.
Comfort them. Encourage them. Help them get over what they are going through with love, understanding, and when and if the times calls for, gentle admonition towards something better and more fulfilling.
Critical words don't kill fear and heal hurt. Love and kindness do.
Remember, fellow believers. We aren't called to bring ones trials down to exalt our own or others. We are called to love each and everyone. Not everyone is capable of handling the same pain. But we can still love them. Nor are we to judge trials by man's standard.
Sure, starvation seems horrid. It is horrible. But so are all the other things we are burdened with. Each are equally important to the person going through it.
One of the realities of this sin-filled life is there will be many people going through hard times, and you will be faced with the choice: Tear them down or love them?
So, be a friend to people. Dry tears, don't cause them. Love people, don't look down at them. And instead of pushing them away, give them a big a hug or two.