Sometime ago, a friend and colleague told me that she had once been bereaved of a child. I was shocked because I never even knew she was a mother. She went on to tell me that a lot of family and friends kept coming to visit and console her. They came with words of comfort and prayers. They said nice, soothing words, they counselled  her, they brought things they perceived could help her get over the trauma and the pain. Yet for more than a year, she was inconsolable.  She said the tears were always just there; like she had just poured a bowl of water on her face. Nothing they said touched or moved her. “NOTHING”, she said.

I looked at her stunned. I found that so hard to believe. Then she continued. She said,  she woke up one morning and began to talk to herself. She began to encourage herself, that the child was gone and she had to get on with her life. She was still young she thought and God would still bless her with other children. God would be there for her. God would not fail her. And it was only then, when she began to counsel herself that she began to heal and be comforted. She said it was a very personal journey and that nobody could go there with her.

No matter how close friends and family are to us, one by one they will go back to their own homes, their families and their lives. But there is One who never leaves.  He will not let us be alone. He ie Emmanu-El – God with us.“The Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”Deuteronomy 31:8 Christian Standard Bible

I was immediately reminded of King David, who encouraged himself in the Lord when all seemed to be against him. David had fled from king Saul who was threatening to kill him. And a few other men had gone off with him. While they were away though, they had left their families in a camp in order to keep them safe. However,  the Amalekites raided that camp and took their wives and children away captive. And suddenly all these men that had been supportive of David talked of stoning him to death. But just before they started plotting against him see what had happened. “Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they were too exhausted to weep [any longer.]” 1 Samuel 30:4 Amplified

In trials and tests it is possible to cry oneself to the point of physical exhaustion. Yet the tears will bring no solution or end to the problem. David had been crying with them and just a moment later they wanted to stone him. Who then could he turn to? “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 1 Samuel  30:6 KJV

As much as we might think we need people around us during trials,(and yes we do need them for “Iron sharpens Iron”) we need God and his word so much more. “For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword,  and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 American Standard Version

It is while we spend time in the Word of God that our spirits will be lifted and eventually every heavy heart will be comforted too. It is there that the thoughts of our hearts will be checked so we do not do anything silly. And as the weight is being lifted even the physical body will receive strength to go on with our daily activities. The utmost strength comes from the Word of God.  And that, is the simple truth.

So like my colleague and friend told me sometime ago of how she counselled herself back to the land of the living, I encourage any one of us who is going through a trial now, especially the sickness or loss of a loved one, to let us find strength in the Lord.

Abba, is a faithful Father and only He can give true comfort.