We All Need Sympathy and Support
“A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. Job 6:14
In the summer of 1989, Mark Wellman, a paraplegic, gained national recognition by climbing the towering granite face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. On the seventh and final day of his climb, a headline in ‘The Fresno Bee’ read: ‘Showing a will of granite.’ Accompanying the headline was a photo of Mark Wellman being carried on the shoulders of his climbing companion Mike Corbett. The caption underneath read: ‘Paraplegic and partner prove no wall is too high to scale.’ What most people didn’t know was Mike Corbett had already scaled El Capitan three times, in order to help Mark Wellman pull himself up once. Sympathy addresses our struggles; support gives us the strength to overcome them. Sympathy says, ‘I understand what you’re going through and I’m here for you.’ It meets two fundamental needs: the need to be understood and the need to have our feelings validated. It’s when life comes crashing in on us that we need our friends the most. In the midst of his suffering Job cried out, ‘A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends.’ We all need sympathy and support, because we all stumble and need help getting back up. So we need to offer them to others and be willing to receive them in return. The Bible says, ‘When people sin, you should forgive and comfort them, so they won’t give up in despair’ (2 Corinthians 2:7). It takes grace to create and maintain true fellowship. But the good news is, you’ll never be asked to extend more grace to others than God has extended to you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being there always for me – help me reflect that love to those I know. In Jesus’ Name, Amen