Unresolved problems can eat away at me, causing an underlying feeling of discouragement, desperation or sadness. Even with other people's problems, I can become so absorbed in "finding and fixing" the issue that I ignore their underlying feelings. Neglecting emotional needs in an attempt to resolve an external issue prevents shalom - peace.
Thankfully, Jesus gave us the model for addressing big problems. He addressed the whole person. In Matthew 9, people came to him with major medical issues - a paralytic friend, a dead daughter, a bleeding woman and blind men. Twice Jesus stops to say,
Take heart, son... (Matthew 9:2 NIV)
Take heart, daughter... (Matthew 9:22 NIV)
The troubles of today seem too much to bear. But I can go on with life with Jesus' words ringing in my ears, "Take heart, Bob".
Will you receive with me the joy and encouragement Jesus has for each of us today...take heart!