Okay, so I just shamelessly used the platypus because it sounded snappy. I'll admit it was a low blow to the blameless platypus, and I apologize profusely. Now, moving on to the heart of the matter . . .
Today, in a moment of frustration I put a status update on Facebook. It referenced the cost of my daughter's impending dental work and my having to go to the doctor myself due to illness. Of course, we all recognize the high cost of healthcare with or without insurance (I happen to be without). I merely expressed my exasperation at our financial status and how it feels as if we take one step forward only to take two steps back. I found the response I received a little shocking.
Let me first say that these were not "Facebook Friends" who commented on my angst - the girl I went to school with twenty years ago who looks vaguely familiar so I accepted the friend request. These were close friends who know me personally and know in intimate detail the struggles our family has faced over the past 2 or 3 years.
I understand and raise no dispute that my friends meant well, but their comments felt hollow for want of a better description. I got the, "I can do all things through Christ" verse and the "whose report will you believe" encouragement. Frankly, I felt worse after reading the comments.
Before, I was experiencing a momentary frustration and was temporarily exasperated. After, I still wrestled with the earlier emotions but suddenly guilt had added itself to the mix - as if I was somehow weak or wrong to experience these emotions. I would like to reiterate that I realize good intentions were at the heart of those comments. And perhaps, I am simply being too sensitive or touchy about the matter. Maybe I'll feel differently in the morning, and I'll have to revisit this post.
Do I have a point? I'm really not sure I do. I just know that I've been through enough hard times in my life to know that God will see me through. I know His word is true, but sometimes when I'm feeling a bit defeated or worn down, I need a little less "Buck up, Private!" and a little more "I hear your pain, and I am here for you!"
I suppose I always go back to Romans 12:15, which so simply admonishes, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."
What say you, Dear Reader? Are "go to" scriptures the way to go? Or should we take a little more of the "put yourself in their place" approach to exhortation and encouragement? I would love to hear your thoughts!