“But now, this is what the Lord says…he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel; Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….Since you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you.” Isaiah 43:1-4
Now repeat the above verses with your own name in place of “O Jacob” and “O Israel”
When we are suffering and our hearts feel overwhelmed by the pain of our circumstance, even though we know these words to be true in our minds, they don’t always find their way into our hearts, where they are needed the most. What about when someone we love is suffering? We want so to comfort them, to say and do the right thing, to take the pain away, or at least help them make some sense out of it. In our haste sometimes we say the wrong things, or say nothing at all because we really and truly have not been in their shoes. We don’t want to speak of something we have never experienced for fear of sounding critical or presumptious like Job’s friends. Their kind of help could be included under the subtitle: “What Not to Say to a Hurting Person.”
Yet in the beginning they did the best thing they could do, they surrounded Job with comfort. They wept with him…..”Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” Job 2:13
Sometimes the best thing to do is to sit beside them in silence. Grasp their hand, put your arms around them. Pray with them. Pray for wisdom to give Godly advice, and wait……If you are the one hurting, know that God has not left you……How could He ever leave the one He created? Who called you by name?
God is not like your earthly father. Difficult circumstances do not mean He has failed or abandoned you. He has not left you at the school gate. God does not forget the child He made. He has not put you to one side while He is busy with other people. He is not bored with you, and He did not leave you midproject. He adores you. In fact, He promises (and God is incapable of breaking a promise) in Joshua 1:5, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Beth Redman, “God knows my Name”
I dedicate the above selection to my best friend Elaine today, who is going through a very difficult time with her Dad right now.