We’re struggling with some serious illness in our extended family. Hope was talking about it with a friend the other day. “It will be okay,” he said. “No it won’t,” she said. People will die. In the process they will hurt. Their minds will not work right. And other people will get hurt.
That’s why I loved the proverb I read the other day.
Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. Proverbs 25:20
Nancy read it, too, and we talked about it while we walked. Before you start singing that really happy song of faith really loud, consider the audience. They may not just have a bad mood. Headache? Death in the family? Struggling with chronic pain? Uncertain about the future? Consider, for a moment, that your cheerfulness might be like acid in a cut.
There are other ways to encourage. Listen. Pray. Do some research to understand depression or dementia or chemo. Pray. Sing the songs to your own heart.
Do I trust in God? Absolutely. Enough to understand that in the short run, many things will not be okay. And, ironically, I’m okay with that.