God is with us in our joys and celebrations. He is also with us in our sorrows and suffering, and at our death.
There’s an old Jewish legend:
A Rabbi asked Elijah, “When will the Messiah come?” Elijah replied, “Go and ask him yourself.”
“Where is he?”
“Sitting at the gates of the city.”
“How shall I know him?”
“He is sitting among the poor covered with wounds. The others unbind all their wounds at the same time and then bind them up again. But he unbinds one at a time and binds it up again, saying to himself, ‘Perhaps I shall be needed: if so I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment. “
The Messiah, the story tells us, is sitting among those in need, binding his own wounds but in such a way that he is always ready to help others when needed. This is the way of the Christian, the follower of Christ. We are all called to be wounded healers. We are not immune to suffering but as we look after our own wounds, we have to be prepared to heal the wounds of others.
Another way of putting it is the way that Jesus put it to his disciples. “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”