Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Rom. 12:15)

THE WEDDING WENT WELL, and I had some time before the reception began at a different location across town. Just enough time, I thought, to drop by the hospital and check on a family whose son had been in a bad motorcycle accident.

I entered the hospital, found the family in the emergency waiting room, and spoke with them. While I was there, a doctor came and informed the family that the young man had not survived the accident. In spite of the best efforts of the doctors and technicians, he had been injured too severely to recover.

I did my best to comfort the family as the initial shock of losing their son registered. When it was appropriate, I excused myself and drove across town to the reception hall.

Upon entering the hall, I found a festive atmosphere. Family members and friends were rejoicing with the new bride and groom. I entered into the rejoicing as well as I could, having just left a scene of suffering and sadness.

In graphic fashion, I experienced the need to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn—all in the same afternoon. Life does not always hand us such striking contrasts. But sooner or later, we all experience times of rejoicing and times of mourning. And the same Savior is with us in both.

Express gratitude for Christ, who relates to every circumstance of life.

Ron McClung, who works at his denomination’s world headquarters, lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons, nine grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.