My heart is heavy. I am at a loss for words and I am too far away to hold the person I care about as they face disappointment and heartbreak. I can send a text, leave a voicemail or post to their Facebook page that I am praying for them, but somehow it isn’t enough.
Dear friends called this week to say that the wife had miscarried. I felt so powerless. I could imagine their heartache as they mourned the loss of a little one they would never meet, never watch smile, never see grow up. I wanted to go to their home, to sit with them while they cried, to listen while they talked. To be there with them. All I could do was send them a brief text message that said, Praying.
I read my Facebook news feed and see posts about friends who struggle with their illnesses and diagnoses and know that I cannot “fix” them, I cannot heal them, I can just offer prayers and words of encouragement as they face their futures, however long those futures may be.
I am overwhelmed with sadness.
Yet, I am not overtaken. Somewhere in all of my sadness, I have hope. I know that there are no words to replace the loss my friends are experiencing, the pain my friend has each day as she struggles with fibromyalgia, or my mom has as she wrestles with rheumatoid arthritis. I know that my God, the One who holds the future, holds these precious people in His hand, close to His heart, as they hurt, cry, yell, and sometimes wimper in their pain.
Romans 5 begins with a powerful perspective on pain and suffering. I in no way mean it as a flippant response to the pain my dear ones feel, but instead I know that they understand the truth of what God promises.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.“
Our world, this side of Heaven, will always be overwhelming. The enemy seems to win on every side, in nearly every arena. But Scripture is clear, he will not win. While the pain, loss, and sorrow seem to crash over us like waves over a storm-tossed boat, there is an anchor for us to hold onto. Jesus.
My heart is heavy, but my soul is light. I know that God is going to bring all of my dear ones through these struggles. He promises in Hebrews 13 to “never leave us or forsake us.” He promises in Revelation that He will “wipe every tear from our eyes.”
I can be sad, but I will continue to hope because I know my God will provide whatever is needed. Whether it’s peace here on this earth, or in Heaven. And in that I will rest.