Misery really does love company

Hard times are best weathered when they are shared

My daughter recently got her braces off. She was most excited to be able to chew gum again. In fact, not being able to chew gum was the one thing she dwelled on when she was going to get her braces put on. She felt mopey that for 12 to 18 months she wouldn’t be able to have gum.

So, I told her that I would join her in not chewing gum. At the time I had a temporary crown and knew I couldn’t have it either. I also knew I’d get my permanent crown and be chewing gum eligible before she would, but I promised her I would wait for her.

And so the day she got her braces off, my husband had her favorite gum ready and we both enjoyed a piece together.

While temporarily not being able to have chewing gum isn’t the worst thing in the world (even for a kid), having someone dwell with you in hard times is priceless.

When I think back to hard times in my own life, I have most appreciated friends or loved ones who were there with me in the misery. Knowing someone is beside you in the depths can make them easier to go through — even just temporarily.

Sometimes what we need most is for someone to come alongside us in our misery and just sit with us, even for a short time. We need reminders that we aren’t alone.

The reverse needs to be true as well. I think about my friends and hard times they’ve been through. Maybe what they need is us to come sit with them. Maybe they need us to sit with a sick loved one so they can have a break. Maybe they need us to bring them a meal so they can regroup. Maybe they need us to send them an uplifting card. Hurting people need solidarity. I know they need our prayers, because even when we can’t be with them, God definitely can.

We do have a Friend Who is always with us. I have felt closest to God at some of the very lowest moments of my life. And at other moments when He has felt far away, I find that I’m the one moving away from Him. He doesn’t move away from me. God remains present through every single moment and brings light into all parts of the darkness.

Who do you need to encourage today? Who do you need to pray for? Who do you need to join in not chewing gum? What do you need to do to remember God’s presence in your own struggles?

Misery really does love company in that when we are miserable, we feel better to know that we aren’t totally alone. Recognizing those times make the sweet times all that much better when we can celebrate with joy a hard season coming to an end!

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