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Devotional: October 8, 2021

Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.

Romans 12:14 The Message

Life is full of highs and lows. There are times when we are so happy that we are about ready to burst. Think of weddings, the birth of a child, or graduating from a school. We often wish such moments would last longer than they sometimes do. Part of what makes them so treasured is sharing them with others.

Here, the apostle Paul encourages us to fully enter into the joy of those who are happy. When we celebrate others' jubilations, it can’t help but have a positive effect upon our own lives. Sharing moments of laughter and happiness is important, but so is sharing comforting tears and grieving with others. Whatever emotion of life we are experiencing, the time becomes even more significant when we share these journeys with others.

Our own family has just experienced both emotions within a day. On October 7th, our first grandchild was born to our oldest son Jonathan and his wife Kristin. We celebrate the birth of Logan Jameson Deal. The day before, October 6th, Kristin’s father, Russ Beltz, passed away after a heroic battle with cancer for more than nine years.

Within a 24-hour period, we have gone from deep sadness to a celebration of new life. As Christians, it is our responsibility to recognize how interconnected we are with one another. What affects one part of Christ’s body affects us all. Therefore, we are called to laugh and to rejoice, yet also to grieve and to mourn. No one emotion is more important than another.

I am convinced that this is why each of us is encouraged to love God with all of our heart, as well as all of our mind, and all of our strength. Emotions are part of life, and entering into one another’s deepest and most heartfelt emotions is both a great privilege and a big responsibility.

Jesus modeled his celebratory spirit at the wedding of Cana where he turned water into wine so the celebration could continue. He also experienced the grief of losing a dear friend when he learned of Lazarus' passing. Along with Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha, he wept. May Jesus’ example inspire us as we interact with others, entering into both their sorrows and their joys...

Prayer

Lord of life's emotions. Help me to pay attention to both the victories and the trials in life. Create within me a desire to be emotionally available and supportive to others. Inspire me to walk with them as I would want them to walk with me, through all of the ups and downs of life. Let me laugh with those who laugh, and weep with those who weep. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.


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