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Why do people listen more now that I'm ill than when I was healthy?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: I’ve been healthy my entire life until I hit 60. There’s so much I’ve learned since my diagnosis of cancer, so now when I try to encourage others in their time of need, they seem to listen more than when I was healthy. Why is this? – B.H.

A: There are many who have enjoyed good health most of their lives. But those who suffer bad health often learn how to help others going through similar valleys of despair. That’s why it is wise to be a good listener when others are suffering. There isn’t much that can be said to those who are hurting and we should ask God for wisdom — when to be silent and when to speak. Often it isn’t the words we say as much as encouraging others with our presence, but sharing our own experiences can cause people to realize that they’re not alone in their suffering.

The Bible reminds us that there’s a time for everything: a time to be born and a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3). So many testimonials speak of how God spoke to them in sickness and their personal faith in Him grew stronger. Someone recently said, “I could have never said this before cancer, but now that I have completed my treatment and am on the road to recovery, I praise the Lord that He used it to open the door to tell others why I hope in the Lord!” Our own inadequacy should drive us to the Lord.

No one knows what a day may bring but Christians can point to the One who sees us through trials. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2021 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(c)2021 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

 

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