When a friend hurts

When my pastor friend’s grandchild died in a drowning accident, we were all shocked and saddened.  I wrote this for him and his family.  (That was a number of years ago, and my heart hurts for these good people yet.) 

If our grief could ease just a sliver of your grief, you would have none left because so many friends are sorrowing for you today.

If our tears could dry your tears, you would weep no more, because so many are heartbroken for you today.

If our pain could erase yours, you would never against experience a moment’s discomfort the rest of your life, because so many are hurting for you today.

If our prayers could bring your child back, she would be with us this very moment because so many are interceding for you today.

If our grief could ease your grief, our tears dry your tears, our pain erase your pain, and our prayers undo this tragedy, it would be done in a heartbeat.

This is not how life happens, unfortunately.  Each one must bear his own burden, as Scripture says (Galatians 6:5).  Even so, we need to say to you…

–If you are angry, God understands.

–If you feel forsaken by Him, remember that Jesus knows how you feel.  On the cross, He cried, “My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

–If your pain is such you don’t want to be comforted today, just know that He understands, and when you are ready, He will be there.

We know so little about the mystery of pain.  Why He allows it, why we go through it, how He uses it.

A few months after New Orleans went through Hurricane Katrina, Billy Graham said to our people, “Jesus Christ is a poor shelter from the storms of life; but He is a perfect shelter in life’s storms.”

He will not keep us from life’s pain.  He will go through it with us and bear it with us.  And someday, He will tell us why.

Until then, we will walk by faith.

Jesus watched as the crowds deserted Him.  Turning to the twelve, He said, “How about you?  Will you go away too?”  Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of life.” (John 6)

We do not turn to Jesus because He is the best of many choices.  We look to Him because He is the only choice, the only Savior. Beside Him, there is none else.

Jesus is Lord.  And the only Lord there is.

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