Be Encouraged

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


My wife, Susan, and I were sharing with each other about so many people who are going through trials, difficulties, and problems. We realized not all problems are the result of committing some kind of wrong. Some of it is just due to “life.” Our hearts go out to them as we see the pressures, the demands, the heartaches, and the responsibilities placed upon the people of God through the realities of life. It causes me to feel like a father watching his children struggle, and I want to bear the hurt for them and with them. Yet, I also want to be encouraging with a prayer, a hug, a pat on the back, and a word that everything will be okay. Some of you reading this see similar situations in your lives or in someone close to you. We all face problems. Our churches also face obstacles, individually and collectively. 

I read about a pastor who was called to the home of a widow. She had just found out she had inoperable cancer. When he arrived, he saw that all her grown children were home with her. They were all rushing around, pouring themselves coffee, making phone calls, discussing the situation. There, in the midst of all that chaos, sat the widow—all alone in her quiet grief. The pastor sat down beside her and opened his mouth to give her some words of encouragement, and nothing, nothing at all, came to mind. His mind was a total, complete blank. All his training, all his experience, and all his wisdom, were completely gone! All he could do was sit there, in complete despair and frustration, knowing in his mind he was letting this wonderful lady down in her time of need. 

What do we say in times like these? Where can we turn to? There is a source that holds more that a right answer. There is truth and comfort.