I don’t know what to say
These last few weeks have left me wondering what’s going on in the world. I haven’t had the words to say to several events taken place in the lives of our loved ones. It’s left me feeling like no one is listening to the prayers of God’s people. Have you ever felt this way? My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, a friend is still fighting fertility issues, and a good friend’s husband tore his Achilles tendon and is out of work for 3 months. Mike and I also had job opportunities not work out and my niece, born last week, has been in the Nicu ever since.
As we’ve walked through these last few weeks, I’ve realized I don’t know what to say to make it better. As I asked my husband what he thought and he had a really good point – just love on others. When you don’t know what to say, love them. Take them dinner, pray harder for your niece, take care of your friends kids, and listen as they spill out their hurts and needs. Just love on them.
Suffering is inevitable in the lives of everyone. Some people suffer more than others, and some don’t have hardships that rock their world. But if you are following after Christ, you will suffer. That’s what makes it hard for people to come to Christ and to be a believer. It’s not an easy path to walk, but the rewards are great despite the hardship. I think as Christians we get trials wrong. We ask the wrong questions. Instead of asking ‘Why’ or ‘Where are you God?’ we should be asking ‘Who are you God?’, ‘What needs to change in me?’ ‘What might others see as a result of the change in me?’ Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
Trials makes us look beyond ourselves to see the who or what. Being real with your feelings in the midst of the brokenhearted season allows us to be able to share our stories with others. As Christians, we can also give the wrong answers. Instead of giving the standard answers such as ‘It’s all good’, ‘Bless your heart’, or my personal favorite ‘This too shall pass’, we should be quiet. What if it doesn’t pass? What if it’s not all good? When someone is suffering, sit with them and listen. In the moment it is hard and its okay to say that. What we can say is that you will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and that will be the word of your testimony.
During my divorce journey, I met a good friend and her husband. We both had huskies and discovered a mutual love for coffee and Christ. These two sweet people kept me safe in their apartment when my ex-husband found out where I lived. While he beat on my apartment door one day, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I was safe. In the midst of my suffering, they came alongside me to provide laughter and just listen. We’ve been friends ever since. They demonstrated hardship is inevitable, but loving on others is our calling. If you run into a situation where you are called to help, remember you don’t have to have the answers. Just love on them.