Misery, according to Webster’s Dictionary, means a state of ill-being due to affliction or misfortune or a feeling of intense unhappiness.
Everyone, at sometime in their life, experiences misery. It’s never welcome and definitely never fun, but it happens. For some, such intense unhappiness causes a total change in personality; a withdrawal from the normal activities of life.
Regardless of what causes the misery; a loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a wrong choice – whatever, it is real – emotionally and physically real. The overwhelming feeling of loss or failure can cause shame - a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of inadequacy or guilt.
Misery can lasts a few days, a few months – and sometimes for years. It’s a journey though a dark tunnel where the only light is from a pin hole! But it doesn’t have to last forever, and it doesn’t have to be a time to forget. It should be a time of learning and expanding the level of faith one has in their Lord and Savoir, Jesus Christ.
We were never promised a continual rose garden – along the way there will be thorns. But the question is “Do we live with the pain of the thorns, or do we pull them out and let the wounds heal? Healing means recognizing the source of the misery and accepting the grace of Jesus Christ for the victory.
Through the misery, we do find our ministry. Or, the ministry we have grows stronger and reaches more people than ever before. It expands our compassion and strengthens our determination to comfort those who are experiencing a similar tribulation.
For those in the midst of the misery, it is hard to hear the words, “I know what you are going through” from someone who has NOT experienced it. Only a person who has been through your misery can honestly say, “I have been there and am now an overcomer!”
Overcomers are victorious – they pulled out the thorns of their misery and birthed a ministry to reach just one with their message of hope.
Everyone has a ministry; an outreach to help another person. Just as Jesus went to the cross for just one, our ministry can help just one.
As I wrote that last sentence, the lyrics from a song written by Babbie Mason titled “Each One, Reach One” comes to mind:
But each one can reach one
As we follow after Christ we all can lead one
We can lead one to the Savior
And together we can tell the world that Jesus is the way
If we each one reach one
Through our misery we DO find our ministry. We do not have to live in a state of ill-being due to affliction or misfortune or a feeling of intense unhappiness.
And our ministry can start with one -- not elaborate or worldwide – it can be one person offering words of hope and compassion to another.
With Jesus, everything is possible. His outreach started with one!
© Nancy Carey
Author: My Sister My Hero Cathy Porter Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2007