Every year, we hope the new year will bring something more wonderful than the year before. Some people, like me, make resolutions (I call them goals), while others feel doing so wastes time. Regardless, I am always hopeful about the future and what the new year will bring.
This year has gotten off to a rocky start for some. Although I feel my life is blessed beyond measure, I am devastated as the next person when something tragic happens to friends or family. Well, that is how this year started and continues today. As I write this blog, I cannot help but reflect on the news I received from a close family member of the scary “C” word. But, in the last week, close friends have lost loved ones, and others have experienced hearing the bad news of some kind regarding themselves or someone close to them.
I recognize that sickness and death are a part of our life cycle. Nevertheless, when people go through these life-changing events, I am reminded of how precious life is and how grateful I am to be given another day. I also think about the pain and heartbreak those closest to the situation are going through. I would like to know what I can do to ease the pain. When they share their devastating news, what do I say? I understand. We don’t if we haven’t experienced it, and even if we have, we don’t understand their particular circumstances. Then, do we say, I will be praying for you? Of course, we will, but more than those praying statements may be needed.
What do we do when we don’t know what to do? I can’t outline a plan for anyone to follow in such situations. I can only share that I stop a prayer. I pray that God will give me the right words or lead me to be quiet and sit in silence, waiting on Him to lead the way. Sometimes the silence is deafening, and we want to fill the space. But we should not rush to fill the silence; we should let the Holy Spirit do His work in that time.
One of the most effective tools in our arsenal in difficult times can be disconnecting from all the voices and plugging into the one voice that is sometimes drowned out in the chaos. The voice we need to hear the most is the voice of God. I am not saying an audible voice, but the feeling in your soul, whispering softly, reminding you that you are not alone. Or through something you read that reminds you of how strong you are even in your most vulnerable state because He is with you. You may feel alone, but you are not alone. You may feel helpless to help someone you love going through something you wish you could change, but you are not weak; you have hope. That hope can be shared through your smile, support, or just sitting and listening to another person.
No matter where we find ourselves today, I know that where we are, we are supposed to be. God will use us during the good times and in the dark times. And that’s it—be, the vessel He uses regardless of what is happening around you.