A few years ago, a group of young married couples that Matt and I were involved with embarked on a discussion that is vivid to me. I've been rehashing it in my mind lately. It was this:
How do we handle rejoicing with those who rejoice when we are grieving the very thing in our lives that they are rejoicing in?
How do we handle sharing our rejoicing, when we know there may be people around us who are grieving that very thing in their lives?
I'll just bare my soul here and tell you that for us, the dangling carrot is a satisfying job for Matt with a steady income (And, like, with a few little wee health benefits, maybe??!!). It's the green grass on the other side of the fence for us. It is, hands down, the area of our lives that can easily become an idol to us ("If we only ________, then everything would be fine!").
For another, it is the desire for a child. How can a woman grieving her infertility rejoice with a sister who is announcing a pregnancy?
Another woman might desperately want to have a marriage that is fulfilling. She wants a mutually trusting and loving relationship where she can feel completely at ease. But instead, there is abuse, anger, and heavy disappointment.
There are countless scenarios where one person is struggling, and her friend is rejoicing.
How do we handle this? I know how we should handle it, Romans 12:15. But it doesn't always feel that simple.
I have my own thoughts on the matter, but I want to know:
How do you handle it?
Why is it so hard?
What, if anything, should we do differently?