Comfort: Somewhere down the road

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

The righteous person may have many troubles,but the Lord delivers him from them all;

he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

Psalm 34:17-20

Why is it that when a friend is in need…serious need…we spout out “comforting” words? The words may be true- be Biblical- be exactly what the Lord had in mind when He had given them to those inspired authors who penned His love letter to us. But, the fact is -during that moment, when that person is reeling from the sucker punch they just absorbed- those words that ring so true are often not the comfort that they need the most.

In April of 2008, I went to the doctor again to check on the little one I was carrying. The heartbeat was just thump-thump-thumpin’ away during the last visit so you can imagine the kick in the gut when the doctor searched and searched and found nothing. There was a still, lifeless little one on the screen…silence. There was silence in the room but I assure you that their mouths were moving. I think he was giving me my options but I know that I didn’t hear a single one. It didn’t matter what he said in that moment- there was no way to take away the pain I felt. And all the wisdom in the world couldn’t change that. Only time. Eventually the veil lifted and I could hear again and was appreciative of the support of friends.

These things creep in and out of our lives. Troubled times – whether it be in the form of a child gone astray, a crumbling marriage, health issues, loss of a loved one or even loss of a job- they kick us where it hurts. We do the best we can to console each other, but sometimes the words- while true- just come up empty.

But, God. (A dear friend of mine always says that…there’s always a “but, God…”)

But, God…when we ask over and over again “why?”…He is the only one who can give the comfort we need. He is closer to us in these times than ever. When we are staggering, trying to recover and regain our sight- His is the hand that reaches out and leads us safely to the other side of the storm. He doesn’t promise that we will have a life free from pain. He promises to deliver us from our troubles- while leading us and teaching us as we walk and talk; eyes closed and hearts busted wide open.

For now, I think I will try to refrain from saying those words that I think will bring comfort or perspective, and let God comfort my friend as he/she is reeling. I will let Him provide the comfort food in the form of His Word and healing hand…and I will stick to the hugs for now (and maybe bring some chocolate along for the ride).

This is a song that I played over and over again when I was going through an overwhelmingly tough time. This song reminded me that while I may not have the answer to the question “why”- God has all of those answers and will make them plain to me somewhere down the road.

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