Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

What do you do in times of suffering?

on May 29, 2012

I got a call 2 hours ago from my dad. He told me that my grandma (his mother and the woman who raised me most of my life) has cancer. What a scary word. Cancer. As most of you have known someone who has had a difficult struggle or have died from this disease, you can feel my panic. My grandma has breast cancer and her doctors believe that it has spread to other parts of her body. They will be doing more tests  My aunt (this same grandma’s daughter) died from breast cancer, and  so did a great-aunt of mine on my mother’s side. I can’t imagine what life would be like without my grandma, but with the ominous details that she was given, I might need to prepare myself.

This led me through a whole string of emotions – anger, sadness, fear, hopelessness.

Then it made me think, how do we help kids who deal with these difficult ideas?

I’m 23 and feeling this way. How do we help kids who are struggling with fear and suffering? We’ve all heard “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4…But how can we make this come to life for a child? Especially when you have a loved one with a deadly disease, and they’re not a Christian. Or you try as hard as you can to be good, but your parents get a divorce. Or you pray and pray but your brother has to go to Iraq anyways. How can we comfort kids in these times? How can we help them to stand on God’s truth and make it through the day?

I think that we can just be there and love the kids. There’s not much more that we can do…right? We can love them like Jesus and tell them that they will make it through these difficult times. I think that’s all I want right now.

If you have any ideas on how to get through grief and suffering, post a comment. What do you do to help your kids in times like these? Is there a special ministry that your church has? How can we teach kids to lean on God during these difficult times?

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