2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Throughout time and everywhere on this planet, people deal with problems. A life without trouble simply does not exist. Going through trouble I personally have found strength in the quiet presence of God’s Spirit. Still, I also strongly believe that God’s presence is fully expressed in human compassion.

Nobody’s heart likes to be broken. Moments of exasperation won’t be listed as our favorite memories. We like to think of the day we met the love of our life; the day we held our first child; the day we experienced a significant breakthrough. We like to revisit our mountaintop moments while we do not like to dwell on our losses and failures.

Whether we go through a moment of victory or a moment of loss – God is in both moments. – While victories have a tendency to set us apart, our failures may have a lot of hidden potential also. People admire a hero from afar, but they can probably better relate to a flawed anti-hero who does not always win. It is very human to fail. Loss reminds us of our humanness – and I believe it is good to be reminded, at least from time to time.

Loss puts us into a position where we need God the most. God is our merciful Father and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of all comfort; healing is under His wings; in Him we find enduring hope. Experiencing His peace in the face of adversity, we can in turn encourage others. Hope is contagious. Who knows – you may very well be somebody’s ray of hope today without even realizing it.

If loss has created any kind of empathy in us, then we have gained more than all of our prior victories combined. Success may feel exhilarating, and yet it is not our victories that connect us to our fellow human beings. Compassion however connects and soothes the pain.

The theme song of “The Last of the Mohicans” is a musical outcry expressing the pain of attempted genocide. Converting our pain into a song, triggers hope. As long as we cry out, there is a chance that we will be heard.

Who cares about our trouble? Maybe more people than we think. Certainly God cares – and I believe He is the One creating awareness and stirring empathy. Empathy ignites compassion; compassion ignites hope, and hope is the reason why we are still here.

Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

John’s jubilee towards the end of his book of Revelation is famous and source of comfort for the tormented. Heaven is a good place. God’s presence, His overwhelming joy and peace and the absence of human sorrow and pain is something to look forward to.

However, does this mean that there is absolutely no pain in heaven? What about God’s pain of losing His creatures due to their free will? Since we don’t have to choose Him (God being no dictator) we can choose not to love Him.

Not choosing God harvests a world of pain; both parties suffer for it – God and His estranged creatures. And most likely, God’s parental pain somehow factors in. I don’t think Heaven is oblivious to what is going on in His heart; in fact, don’t we share both His joy and pain, especially as we get closer to Him? I believe we do, and I’m also convinced Heaven would be one-dimensional if we had it any other way. There is more depth to our joy as we embrace the undesirable feeling of sadness.

My husband Bill and I cried more than one tear when we lost our cat Misty. We had her going on 15 years. She came to us when she was a kitten and left her paw prints permanently in our hearts.

Obviously not everybody has a pet. The worst part of being in pain is thinking to be alone in this. That, quite frankly, is a lie. Even if (hypothetically speaking) nobody should be able to empathize with what you are going through, God certainly can.

Nonetheless, the reality is: people can usually relate. We don’t have to go very far to find out that someone else has dealt with some kind of grief. When pain bears the fruit of empathy it will create community. If nothing makes sense in pain, this always will: Your pain will equip you to be the best friend you can be to the person next to you who is facing some major challenges.

We are made for one another. God has created us not only to beat loneliness but to make life a whole lot richer.

Here it is, plain and simple written in the skies: Money does not make us rich. Relationships do!