My experience has been this: God knows the best help for the despairing comes from those who understand. Jesus' presence on earth showed us that God understands human existence because God himself experienced life on earth. In the same way, our experiences give us a window into the lives of others so that we have an opportunity to walk with them through hard times. Practially speaking, this means God will match "deep" with "deep."
- Divorce Care class is headed by people who have experienced the pain of broken families.
- In the aftermath of my father’s death, I received the most comfort from others who were equally fatherless.
Be prepared for deep to call out to deep.Years ago, I realized that the areas in my life that had once been emptied were meant to be a "deep" that heard the cries of others. I knew what it was like to have my howling heard; why would I not respond to others?
Sheila and I had a rough start to our marriage. We didn’t know each other; we didn’t know how to communicate; we were both selfish and immature. When we counsel couples planning to get married, we tell them about everything we did wrong, because we know what it is like to cry out from the deep.
Recently I walked into a room as someone was getting off the phone, and she said, ”Sometimes you just have to laugh.” I asked why, and she said, “Because otherwise you have to cry.” Then she said, without my prompting, “Marriage is hard.” And so we talked. Deep calls unto deep.
My father’s death brought a void to my emotions, to my prayer life, to my perspective on the sovereignty of God. You know what I can do now that I couldn’t before? I can empathize with people.
Last fall I was at a mall in Grand Rapids, and in the food court I met an ex-student I hadn’t seen in a while, and she mentioned that her grandfather had died. I told her about my dad, and she asked me very tentatively, “Did you have dreams after he died?” Did I have dreams? Absolutely. And for about 10 minutes in the food court at a mall, deep called unto deep.
Be prepared for deep to call out to deep.