From hospital rooms to the counseling room, I spend a lot of time with people who are suffering. Indeed, suffering comes in many different forms – physical, emotional, and spiritual. Over the years, I have learned to be cautious of the confident, smiling face. Behind many of those big smiles hides a hurting heart.
I don’t know about you, but I feel so inept when meeting people in extreme pain. I struggle with what to say. Yes, I know, just me being present, offering a kind word, and praying with them (and for them) is sufficient, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. I wish I could just take all their pain away! But alas, I cannot.
When I feel especially inept at comforting the sorrowing, I always turn to Scripture. The Bible obviously speaks to us, but did you know that it often speaks FOR us? Yes, when we don’t know what to say, God does! God knows, God cares, and God speaks to those who are suffering and wrestling with darkness, depression, and disease.
What does He say to them? What does He say to us in the midst of our pain?
Hebrews 13:5b, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God isn’t distant from our pain, He is near and He isn’t going anywhere!
Psalm 46:10a, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Since God will never abandon us, we can rest in Him, knowing that He is working for our good; and He really can work for our good! How? Why? Because He is God and we are not.
Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” What hope! It won’t be like this forever. One day, all of our suffering and sorrow will expire because God Himself will do away with darkness and death – pain and suffering.
As we get ready to celebrate Christmas tomorrow, let’s remember that God is with us and for us. And, one day, it won’t be like this anymore…One day, we will (by grace through faith in Jesus) experience eternal joy and life as we rest in His magnificent presence.