Trauma destroys in such profound ways that the notion that Jesus can help sometimes feels empty. It is important to be specific about what Jesus does. Jesus can help us face trauma by offering three key elements: compassion, comfort, and solidarity.

Jesus Offers Compassion

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We’ve been cooped up now for several weeks and many of you haven’t had any real significant social contact in all that time. Some of you are not only cooped up, but laid off. Perhaps you have applied for unemployment benefits because your company has essentially shut down. Others of you own businesses and you’re beginning to wonder if you’ll even survive the economic downturn caused by the restrictions in place because of this pandemic. Many wonder if they’ll catch the dreaded virus and die.

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400 years. That’s how long the Israelites waited for God to deliver them from slavery. But after they left Egypt, God didn’t take them directly to their promised land.
Instead, they camped out at the base of a mountain while God instructed Moses. During that time, God’s glory rested on the mountain.
But after 40 days, the Israelites grew frustrated by the delay…so they rejected God and pursued whatever pleased them.

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Brokenness. It is an experience we have all had to some degree: loss of a job, a dream, a relationship. It could be death, destruction, disease, or disappointment. Perhaps you see yourself as broken and, as a result, rejection, injury, betrayal, disability, shame, or failure threaten to define you. To some degree or another, you and I have experienced brokenness. And the threat of being swallowed by the brokenness of our circumstances is ever-present.

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It seems as though there is a pervasive belief that so many of us hold that “I am not worth it and I’m undeserving.” The question “what makes me or my life matter?” is one of the most important questions a person can consider. There are people who spend decades trying to answer this question, consciously or subconsciously. It appears to me that those who experience the most peace and fulfillment in life have developed a solid answer to this question and they live their lives in line with that answer.

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Don’t you wish that the apostle Paul had expanded on some nuggets he gave us in Scripture?

One passage that tormented me for years was Phil 4:11-13. Paul boasted that:

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

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Recently I read the story of Jesus healing the centurion’s son (Luke 7:1–10) and was struck by the two times “worthy” appeared. Pay attention to the word as you read the story: After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him.

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I love to search for the perfect gift.  It does not need to be expensive.  It simply gives me joy to find something that is uniquely fitting for someone.  I get so excited to give the gift just to see their expression of surprise and delight. I often hope I’ll hear, “Oh my! How did you know?” or, “It’s so perfect, and I LOVE it!”  These moments bring me a sense of happiness and I feel connected in a special way when a simple gesture is recognized and valued.

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