We tend to shut ourselves in when we walk through times of personal difficulty. It’s like hiding behind the door of a dark room where we see only our pain surrounded by the shadows of our own circumstance. Life becomes not only sad and hopeless, it is lonely.
It these times, our natural instinct is to focus on ourselves. Truthfully, our natural instinct only leads to greater despondency.
On the cross, Jesus suffered the greatest of personal tragedy and need. He was in enormous physical pain, mental anguish, and spiritual turmoil. In His own “dark room”, Jesus gave us an example of how to work through those places.
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and this disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home (John 19:25-27).
Mary stood near the cross where her eldest son was hanging, suffocating on His own bodily fluids. She grieved as her son was stretched up and dying before the world as a common criminal. Hanging there, Jesus turned without concern for Himself or His own agony, and told John to take care of His mother in His absence.
Jesus made the choice to look beyond His own need of the moment and focus on the need of someone else. He reached out to help another person. Not an easy thing to do under any circumstance, but Jesus did it.
Jesus is our Example. Concern for others and their needs will always uplift our own hearts and encourage us in our own times of need.