Recently I have watched as close friends have lost loved ones. I see their grief, but do not know their pain. There are no words that will bring healing, only time and faith in God. I am not in their shoes and do not pretend to understand their pain. For some the pain is so deep, it cannot be verbalized.
Some of the loss has been that of a child, in many cases unexpectedly. Today suicide and drug overdose are claiming the lives of too many young people. Car accidents are so sudden, the shock must be devastating. Whatever the cause the loss of a child is unimaginable.
Others have lost a spouse, someone that has been a constant companion and helpmate, the void in their homes is felt every time the survivor enters the home.
Then there are the people who have lost a brother, sister, parent, grandparent, feeling abandoned by the security of their unconditional love. I can relate to this pain, as I lost my mother several years ago.
No matter what the loss is, it is painful and the hurt will not heal overnight. For those of us who are friends of the suffering, we can be there for them, take them out to eat, or just for a ride, spend time with them, and let them know they are not alone. But most of all we can pray for them and with them.
With the holidays coming up, this will be a difficult time. There will be an empty place at the dinner table, an empty chair around the Christmas tree, and an empty spot on the church pew. We cannot fill this emptiness. But God knows their pain and He can bring the comfort they need, at this time.
I am reminded of this Bible passage.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary, there is no limit to his understanding. He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-30 (CSB)
At this time, as the holiday season approaches, I pray for those hurting, and feeling inconsolable. I pray they will find the strength of the everlasting Father. It is my hope they will gain the assurance to press forward knowing God is with them, has not abandoned them, and knows their pain.