I have heard a preacher say that we are not all promised to have success in this life, but we will all most certainly experience suffering. Suffering is the common denominator across the human experience, regardless of your age, ethnicity, country where you live, social status, or any other parameter. We all experience suffering throughout our lives. And yet at times it seems that we are hurting from a variety of occurences all at the same time. We can’t seem to get a break from experiencing the pain in this world. We lose loved ones, lose our job, a close friend moves, our children rebel. Bam, bam, bam. We are knocked to our knees, then to our hands, then our elbows, until finally we are laying on the floor and feel like we can’t possibly get up. The burden of our grief is much too strong, and we don’t know how we can stand again.
Recently I have had several friends and relatives lose loved ones. I haven’t known their loved one personally, but my heart aches for them as someone who has experienced loss myself. I would like to dedicate this post to them-my friends and family members who are suffering and grieving the loss of someone they love. They’ve been knocked to their knees and don’t know how to get back up again. My heart hurts as I know what that feels like. I thought I would share a few Scriptures that have comforted my heart during my times of grief. May the words of our Lord comfort and encourage you now as you walk through loss or in the future when you find yourself walking through it.
“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
This verse provided much comfort during our years of infertility and then after we received our baby girl’s terminal diagnosis. I can’t explain how beautiful it is to me that the Lord is near to those who are grieving. He doesn’t turn and walk the other way. Instead, He pursues us with His steadfast, never-ending love. He walks through our loss with us. And He saves those who are crushed in spirit. I think about a soda can or water bottle that has been crushed before it’s discarded. When our spirit is crushed from the weight of loss, we are not discarded. We are saved! God steps in and saves us. Even better, He over time can help us so that we can stand again.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Psalm 46:1-3
While I was pregnant with Hannah Grace and knew that the day would soon come when we would have to say goodbye, I soaked up verses like this that reminded me that God is my refuge and He is my strength. I was overwhelmed at times with grief, but in those moments I would run to the Lord and rest in His refuge. He would then give me the strength I needed to face each day. Though the earth around me felt like it was caving in (can you relate?), I didn’t have to be afraid. I could trust in the Lord, knowing He would give me what I needed to press on another day.
“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:1-2
I can remember writing these words in my journal and thinking about what each meant: my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. How powerful each of those words are, and they all describe our Lord, the only One who can be all of those to us if we would only cry out and turn to Him. He is near. He is close. He is waiting. In times of distress, suffering, grieving, and loss we can turn to Him and like the loving Father that He is, He will be our fortress, our deliverer, our rock. Press into Him. He may not deliver you from the pain you are experiencing, but He will pick you off the ground, place you in His loving arms, and comfort you with His steadfast love.
I encourage you to dive more into Scripture and find additional verses that comfort you. These are only 3 of the passages that I found most comforting, but there are so, so many more that will comfort your heart.
Pressing on in faith, Jennifer