I think I can say with a hundred percent degree of certainty that you and I both have people in our circle of influence who are going through hard times. It may not be obvious, but they are there.

And often … come on, this is the truth … we’re so focussed on living our own lives, so busy with all the oh-so-important things we have to do, that we don’t spare the time to be there for them.

Sure, we can manage a quick word of advice, a pat on the back, a solution to their problems, that frankly should be staring them in the face … but is that what they really want? Is that what they really need?

Colossians 3:12,13 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (ESV)

It seems to me that compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience in bearing their burdens takes time. It’s not so much about a quick aspirin, but a caring heart. Theologian and author Paul Allen has this to say:

“In hard times, people don’t want to be told to look on the bright side. They want to know you’re on their side. Even if you can’t help them feel better, you can always help them feel seen. The best way to support others is not to cheer them up. It’s to show up.”

Who is it in your circle who’s going through hard times right now? Have you taken the time to stop, to look, to see them, to be there, to be on their side for once? Well, have you?

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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