Healing, Hope, Love, Pain, Walking Beside the Weak & Wounded, Words of Endurance

Suppose someone has enough to live and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not help.
Then God’s love is not living in that person.
My children, we should love people not only with words and talk,
but by our actions and true caring.
1 JOHN 3:17-18 (NCV)

The above scripture is a foundational verse for the ministry of Endurance – it permeates every policy and program. We believe it is “where the rubber meets the road. Words and talk – although important – are not nearly as important as acts of love and kindness. Words spoken are exactly that but love in action speaks much louder and shows how much we truly care because we are giving of ourselves.

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this
if you learn all the right words but never do anything?
Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?
For instance, you come upon an old friend
dressed in rags and half-starved and say,
“Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!”
and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—
where does that get you?
Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

Here are some of our favorite tried and true actions of love that help us walk beside those who are weak and wounded …

• Ask – “How can I be praying for you?’ and then always offer to pray right then and there with your hurting friend.
• Be there – take the time – love in action!
• Send a note card or email when you pray for hurting friends or family members so they know that you continue to pray for them.
• Be there – take the time – love in action
• Call and check in on a regular basis especially before any potentially difficult milestone such as an anniversary of a loved one’s death or an important appointment – it is taking the time to care.
• Be there – take the time – love in action!
• Help with the daily grind of life by preparing meals or helping with the daily duties whenever you can – give a helping hand.
• Be there – take the time – love in action

God chooses carefully those who would bring His message of hope, comfort and love to His suffering children. If you have been chosen to be God’s hands, mouth or feet for your friend – God will bless you richly as you let Him teach you His gentle ways and how to walk in His strength. And remember …

It is not how much we do,
but how much love we put into what we do.

As you serve and love others in need – count it a privilege and be blessed…

“Then the King will say to those on his right,
‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom.
It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

‘ I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about?
When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink?
And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’
Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth:
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored,
that was me—you did it to me.’

On the journey with you,
Dave & Jan Dravecky


Healing, Pain, Walking Beside the Weak & Wounded, Words of Endurance

There is a time for everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.
There is a time to be silent
and a time to speak.

While there is definitely a time to be silent and listen when walking beside the weak and wounded– there is also a time to speak life-giving words of encouragement and comfort.

The right word spoken at the right time
is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.

But remember …

When you talk, do not say harmful things,
but say what people need—
words that will help others become stronger.
Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.

Let thy speech be better than silence – or be silent.

Encouraging and comforting words are healing physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Words of comfort, skillfully administered,
are the oldest therapy known to man.

An anxious heart weighs a man down,
but a kind word cheers him up.

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
making people happy and healthy.

And you will find that as you bless the weak and wounded with your life-giving words – you too will be blessed.

The world is full of discouragers.
We have a Christian duty to encourage one another.
Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer
has kept a man on his feet.
Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.

So encourage each other
and give each other strength

On the journey with you,
Dave & Jan Dravecky


Healing, Pain, Walking Beside the Weak & Wounded, Words of Endurance

Three of Job’s friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country—
Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—
and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him.
When they first caught sight of him,
they couldn’t believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him!
They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt
on their heads as a sign of their grief.
Then they sat with him on the ground.
Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word.
They could see how rotten he felt,
how deeply he was suffering.

The best encouragement that Job received from his friends was given in the first seven days and nights when they sat there without saying a word. Scripture encourages us to …

“… weep with those who weep.“
ROMANS 12:15

Which is exactly what they did and Job was encouraged but his discouragement began when they ended their silence and weeping and decided to speak and give reasons for his suffering.

“I’ve had all I can take of your talk.
What a bunch of miserable comforters!
Is there no end to your windbag speeches?
What’s your problem that you go on and on like this?
If you were in my shoes,
I could talk just like you.
I could put together a terrific harangue
and really let you have it.
But I’d never do that. I’d console and comfort,
make things better, not worse!”

Like Job’s encouragers, many of us feel that we have to have answers for our hurting friends. Maybe because …

We are a “teller” society.
We have never discovered the power of the ear.
When someone tells us his/her problems
we think we must have an answer.
If we have no answer we …
either give shallow answers or just run from the question.

Or perhaps …

Perhaps to defend God’s honor,
Or to try to make some sense of what has happened
Or simply to put the whole thing in the past,
Most would-be comforters are convinced that something must be said.

But the truth is that more times than not – we do not have the answers to our friends suffering. But the good news is that you don’t have to and remember …

Even fools seem to be wise if they keep quiet;
if they don’t speak, they appear to understand.

On the journey with you,
Dave & Jan Dravecky


Healing, Pain, Walking Beside the Weak & Wounded, Words of Endurance

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak
JAMES 1:19 (NLT)

When a family member or a friend is hurting our ears are needed at least twice as much as our mouths – perhaps that is why we have two ears and only one mouth! Perhaps that is why the Scripture encourages us to listen and urges caution when we speak. The Scripture also reminds us that there is …

A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

The hurting needs a listening ear and heart – someone before whom they can be totally honest. They need a safe place to uncover their pain – reveal their questions and doubts – so that healing can begin.

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere,
before whom I may think out loud.”

A safe listener and friend gives a hurting person complete freedom to express whatever they are feeling inside – good, bad or indifferent. A safe listener and friend is not there to judge or offer solutions – he or she is there to offer a sanctuary of grace.

“What do you do when a hurting friend
says things that are irreverent – or worse?
Rejoice! Not in your friend’s impiety
But in the willingness to entrust her pain to you.“

A safe listener is also a wise active listener. A good listener asks the right questions – ones that delve beneath the surface and help a hurting friend understand and express deep thoughts and feelings:

  • We have talked about everyone else – how are you doing?

  • What are you doing to cope? What are you doing for yourself?

  • Is this … what you are feeling?

  • Do you understand why you feel that way?

  • That seems difficult for you. Would you like to talk about it more?

A friend listens intently – makes eye contact, leans forward, expresses agreement or nods – to whatever a hurting friend says even if it has been said many times before. Take a tip from nature – your ears are not made to shut but your mouth is!

A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends
JOB 6:14 (NIV)

“He who can no longer listen to his brother
will soon no longer be listening to God either.”

On the journey with you,
Dave & Jan Dravecky


Healing, Pain, Prayer, Walking Beside the Weak & Wounded, Words of Endurance

I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see.
I sought my God, but God eluded me.
I sought my bother and I found all three.

People in pain often live a roller-coaster existence. They may appear fine one day and be totally withdrawn the next. So walking beside a family member or friend who is weak or wounded can be a challenge.

Identifying a suffering person’s greatest needs can also seem impossible because there are so many needs – physically, emotionally and spiritually. To make things more difficult – hurting people sometimes attempt to quiet their inner turmoil by trying to distract themselves from their pain. With a seemingly impenetrable focus, they deal primarily with tasks that require little or no emotional output. They can be oblivious to other people and responsibilities. No wonder it can be difficult to know how to help!

Although it can be difficult to walk beside a hurting person – it is also a privilege. God does not want any of us to walk alone. Our presence can be God’s gift of grace and comfort to that friend or family member. But in order to be vessels of God’s grace and comfort it is best if we cultivate and prepare the right perspective and the right heart attitude. When we do -we are better equipped to walk beside the weak and wounded and offer the hope and encouragement they so desperately need.

Be Led by the Holy Spirit

O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
PSALM 139:1-2 (NLT)

As the Psalm states – God alone knows our thoughts and hearts. So God knows best what our hurting friend needs at any given time.

Time after time during His earthly ministry, Jesus saw beyond the most obvious needs of hurting people to the most important ones. He was able to do this because He viewed people through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. As we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and prompt us – He will faithfully reveal the deepest needs of those who hurt. The single most important expression of love and concern we can show our friend is to walk with God – to be led by His Holy Spirit. Because as Jesus expressed –

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them,
will produce much fruit.
For apart from me you can do nothing.”
JOHN 15:5 (NLT)

Be Filled with God’s Love

First Corinthians 13:8 tells us

“love never fails.”

Of course the love that never fails is God’s love not ours. Our love is too weak – too fickle. It is dependent on our moods, schedules and imperfect hearts. But God’s love is sincere, life giving and powerful. And it is there for the asking. So when we find ourselves needing to love those who are hard to love or needing to love – when we feel weak and overwhelmed – we can ask God to fill us with His love so that we have love to give.

Without God’s love whatever we do for the weak and wounded falls short. First Corinthians 13:3 is crystal clear –

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels
but have not love
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

Ouch! If we truly want to be God’s gift to a weak or wounded friend we need to ask Him to fill us with His love.

Pray First – Act Second

As Jesus went about His ministry on earth His sole agenda was to do the will of God –

“I do not seek My own will,
but the will of Him who sent Me.”
JOHN 5:30 (NASB)

Our agenda should be the same and we can discover God’s will through prayer. Everything we do for someone who is in pain is done best when it is bathed in prayer first. Through prayer we allow God to direct our steps.

This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.”
ISAIAH 48:17

As we are led by the Holy Spirit – as we are filled with God’s love – and as we pray first and allow God to direct our actions – we are then prepared to walk beside the weak and wounded – one of the greatest privileges in life. Prepare to be blessed as you bless others.

God chooses carefully those who would bring
His message of hope, comfort and love to His suffering children.
If you have been chosen to be God’s hands, mouth or feet for your friend,
God will bless you richly as you let Him teach you His gentle ways
and how to walk in His strength.

On the journey with you,
Dave & Jan Dravecky