Weekly Devotion 4-27-22

Weekly Devotion with Kim Wu

“Never think about yourself; always help others.  We are stronger together.”

I was shocked to find this message plastered across the front of a reusable shopping bag at the local grocery store.  It was the first phrase that caught me off-guard:  “Never think about yourself.”  But there it was in black and white – that subliminal message we receive that it is wrong to think about ourselves.  Self-care is selfish, and those who engage in it are weak.

This is not God’s plan for us.  While the Bible does teach us the value of pouring ourselves out for others, it also teaches us the importance of self-care.  When Elijah was afraid and running for his life, he collapsed under a broom brush.  It was there that God responded to Elijah’s despair by encouraging him to eat and rest two different times.  “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”  And after eating and sleeping, Elijah was given the strength to travel forty days and forty nights to reach Horeb, the mountain of God.  And Elijah rested there, and the Lord appeared to him in a gentle whisper.

But the pressure to keep up, and to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps when we fall has made us afraid to admit when things aren’t going well and we need help.  So we pretend everything is going well, and keep our struggles and fears bottled up inside of us.

We cry by ourselves in our cars while parked in a parking lot, yet we tell everyone we are doing just fine.

But isolating ourselves, and keeping our pain to ourselves, is one of the worst things we can do.  While we may want to pull away from everyone, we need to connect with others.

In “No More Faking Fine,” author Esther Fleece writes, “One of the most effective ways to process pain is to honestly speak it aloud.  Pain sometimes just needs to be heard.”

Lamenting is talking to God about our sorrows and our fears while we renew our hope in His care for us.  When we lament in community, as members of the family of God together, we open ourselves up to the process of healing.

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Father God, praise be to You, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  You are the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.  Comfort us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from you.  Amen.  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

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