In this program, Assaf presents Children's News regarding the war Israel is engaged in. He explains that there is a difficult situation and expresses empathy for the fact that war can be scary and stressful, but reassures the audience that war is nothing new and that people have survived it before.
The tradition of lighting Hanukkah candles reminds us about how God provided in the mist of hard times, despite war. And of course, there have been various challenges since that time as well. During this more recent attack, some people near Gaza were hurt; some even got killed, which is very sad.
But a lot of people wanted to help. The police and even the Israeli army went to see what they could do. And people who were not in combat roles sought out other ways to help. During stressful times, one of the things that we can do is seek ways to help others, rather than just focusing on ourselves. This does not mean that it is not important to face our situation and appropriately process our emotions instead of suppressing them, but if we are not careful, we can get sidetracked; so, staying aware of both our needs and the needs of others outside of ourselves can be helpful.
By only looking inward at our wounds, they can get infected with bitterness, and we can lose sight of broader issues in life. If we allow pride to skew our perception, it can prevent us from giving or accepting the help that could aid in our own healing and that of others. On the other hand, if we don’t look at our pain at all, we can still be plagued by bitterness if we fail to honestly look at the ways things have impacted us. Not all trauma is bitterness of course; it is reasonable to feel hurt, and sometimes we just need to make sure we are not developing maladaptive coping skills during the process of healing with the help of a professional.
Anyway, some of Assaf's suggestions on how we can show care include:
- calling people to see how they are doing
- sending care packages to soldiers so they don’t feel lonely.
Sometimes in caring for physical health and safety, we can overlook emotional needs. After all the Bible says “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14).
If we are discouraged and feeling hopeless, it can be much harder to stay alert and take care of ourselves or others. It is good to look for ways to support and encourage others who are hurting and sad. “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country” (Proverbs 25:25).
Think of ways you can help others in both the literal and figurative wars we face in life.