Have you ever tried to offer a word of hope or encouragement to someone suffering and could not find the words? This has been the case for me the last couple of weeks. I love to bring hope to people. I love to encourage them and help them look up when they are down, but sometimes there are no words to say and the best thing we can do is be there for them and PRAY.
Last week I went away with my youngest daughter to an educational outdoor camp. The timing was perfect. I had been trying to offer too many words to people that I love with it not bringing any relief to the weary. The Lord literally had me in a place where I could not communicate. I had no cell service, no text messages, no email, no way to communicate. He silenced me. “Be STILL and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. I love how intentional He was to remove me and keep me from speaking. I had to rely on HIM, not my words, to bring hope to the hurting. I found myself in my quiet time soaking in His creation in AWE of the beauty that surrounded me. In the stillness I could feel Him near. I was able to pour out my heart to Him and ask Him for His help.
Can you imagine if Job’s friends had been silenced to pray for him instead of telling him what he was doing wrong and how to fix his troubles. When I read their discussions with Job it brings me anger and sadness at their arrogance in thinking they knew everything. We can have wisdom and still not know it all. We can sometimes hurt others with our words even though our intentions are for good. Sometimes it is best for us to not speak, to offer a hug rather than a word. I am learning this as I grow closer to Him and closer to the ones I love. I am grateful that He never gives up on me and continues to teach me and grow me.
When I returned home I was renewed. I wasn’t bogged down in the sufferings. I was lighter. I had found rest for my soul. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29. And those that I had been trying to speak encouraging words to were lighter too. The Lord heard my prayers for them and HE was bringing them comfort. Our God is faithful. He hears us when we pray, and He longs to help us in overcoming our sufferings. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Romans 5:3
I don’t know about you but when it comes to character’s, I want to be more like Job than his friends. Job’s life had been stripped of everything yet He continued to PRAISE our Father. He continued to have HOPE in our God. I want to be able to have the courage to say these words, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” Job 13:15
Right before I left on my trip, I heard this verse and this song at my church, Currey Creek. Listen to it in your quiet time. Listen to John Piper’s message in the middle of the song. Do NOT lose heart friends. Every bit of our sufferings is producing an inheritance. Every millisecond of our misery and pain is meaningful. It’s working for us an eternal weight of GLORY! DO NOT LOSE HEART.
Get alone with Him! Disconnect from the world. Be STILL and know that He is God. Pray. Trust. Watch Him be faithful!