A couple of months ago, Lydia fell off the neighbor’s swing and broke both wrists. It’s the kind of thing every mother dreads. But in that moment the Lord gave me peace and grace to comfort and care for her without fear.
One of the most helpful things I have ever read (outside of scripture, of course) is a quote by Elisabeth Eliot. She said, “There is no grace in your imagination.” Meaning, God gives grace in the moment we need it, and not before. As mothers, we imagine all of these terrible things happening to our children, but we cannot adequately imagine the grace of God in those circumstances. He provides in ways we don’t expect and could never think of.
While Lydia was healing, people kept saying how sorry they were and how hard it must be for me. But it wasn’t. God gave grace…to me, to Lydia, and to the other kids. I know other believers say the same thing after trials. They wouldn’t trade the suffering for the lessons learned and faith gained. I know Lydia’s broken arms were painful, but I also know she learned a lot more from that experience than from anything I could ever say to her. God had a plan and the grace to go with it.
One of my dearest friends lost a child several years ago. People said things like “I don’t know how they keep getting up in the morning…” I do! It was the grace of God, that they were experiencing because they needed it and we didn’t. Not for that circumstance. And they wouldn’t trade their suffering either.
I want to challenge us to think about the things we say when people are suffering. Let’s not feed the pity party, but encourage our friends to think on the ways God is pouring out his grace on them. Let’s help them to see the small mercies and God’s provision in their trials.
Instead of “Oh Honey, this must be so hard…I don’t know how you are managing…You must be so worn out…”
What if we said, “The Lord must pouring out his grace on you in this time. Isn’t it wonderful to feel God’s comfort in suffering?” or “Tell me about how God is encouraging you in this trial.” Tell them about a time God gave grace to you during your own times of suffering. Let’s not focus on the suffering, but build hope and faith in our friends by drawing their attention to the grace of God!
Praising the Lord who heals broken arms and provides comfort in trials.