Empathy is defined as “your pain in my heart”. How do we develop empathy if we never experience pain or hurt, sickness or the loss of a loved one, either through death or the ending of a relationship?
Oswald Chambers writes:
“Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me. The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be this way is immaterial. The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You can always know that you can go to him, who has suffered, in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you. But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away. If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow God will make you nourishment for other people”.
My sister once wrote me a letter and this is what she said:
“I think we are blessed in a wonderfully paradoxical way, because our capacity – huge capacity – for healing has been carved and hollowed out through our experiences of pain and feelings of rejection, feelings of never quite being good enough, through our failures, through our unmet expectations, and disappointments with ourselves and others – suffering is so intimately connected to wholeness. Perhaps wisdom is simply a matter of waiting and healing a question of time”
It has been through my times of pain and sorrow that I have grown the most as a person. It is also during those times that I have actively sought God and prayed the most!
Nick Vujicic, a man born without arms or legs has this to say:
“I love how God lets us go through difficult challenges to help each other and encourage one another. The challenges in our lives are there to strengthen our convictions. They are not there to run us over”.
And then James Wilson said the following:
“And in the miracle of God’s provision for an escape, He takes the very scars that Satan inflicted to draw lines of beauty upon our souls. IF we turn over control to God instead of cursing Him!”