Help For The Hurting

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Old Rugged Cross"1 (Lyrics)

It was a regular day at home. As I went about my usual activities, the doorbell rang. I made my way to answer the ring. What a surprise! A policeman stood before me.

Thoughts were racing through my mind: "Why would this policeman be here? What could possibly be wrong?"

Like a sharp, penetrating knife, his words cut through me as he explained the reason for his visit. Chris, our 24-year-old son had been in a motor vehicle accident in Michigan. He was dead.

That was the beginning of a hard, dark season in my life. Everything seemed black. How could I go on? How could God have let this happen to Chris? I had prayed for him that very morning. Why didn't God keep him safe?

Each day was a chore to keep going. In the mornings as was my custom, I would have a time of reading the Bible and praying. My usual ritual was adjusted as I got out the picture that Chris had given me and held it in my hands. Tears would fall on the picture as I prayed. Each day, God heard from me the same stories about Chris — over and over. I asked God how He could have let this happen to my son in light of the prayers that I had offered for him just a few hours before the accident.

Long ago, as a child, I had received Jesus as my Saviour. Then many years later, the day had come when I realized that Jesus calls us to surrender our lives to Him and follow Him. I made that decision. But now, life had dealt me a horrendous blow! I was disappointed with God. How could I continue with a God who hadn't kept my son safe when I had prayed for him?

Into this cloud of sadness dropped words: "To whom else shall I go?" Repeatedly those words hung there before me in the mornings as I wept over Chris' picture and pondered. The words reminded me of a passage of Scripture occasioned when some of Jesus' followers were leaving Him because they found His teachings hard to accept.

John 6:67-68 – "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (NIV)

I began to consider the teachings of Jesus. How wise and how good were the ways Jesus taught people to live — so very much wisdom and insight! Jesus taught about love, forgiveness, and kindness towards others. What better way was there to live than to follow Him?

There are occasions in life when we are unexpectedly disappointed and saddened. We may feel that God has let us down, and we cannot understand why He has let this happen. We may never understand some things in this life, but God can help us. He can speak to us through the words of the Bible. There, we find Jesus revealed — God's gift of love. He guides us along the way forward, steadying our feet on the path before us and helping us. He gives us the words of eternal life.

Prayer: God of mercy, You know and understand how we feel when life confronts us with harsh realities. You are there to help us and guide us along the way. While we may not always understand Your ways, You have promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Help those of us who suffer this day. Grant us comfort, strength, and hope each day. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Joan Adams

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wise words, Joan. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Joan, but praise God for your testimony.

    So powerful. We must remain faithful; the cost is unimaginable many days. Thank you for the reminder!

    Thank you for sharing your faith about such a difficult time in your life, Joan. I lost my mom this year and your post really helped me. God bless you!

    Joan, May God’s comforting Presence abide with you this day and always. Thanks for sharing your sorrow with us. Hugs, my devotional writing friend. Blessings.

    Thank you for sharing your story Joan. I am on the verge of tears just reading it. You are truly an inspiration.

    Dear Joan,
    Thank you for your honest, open sharing of a very difficult time in your life. We struggle when we don’t understand why God has allowed something bad to happen. You are right, the Word will help us heal. May many blessings be yours.

    Hello Joan,
    Thank you for this devotional. So true and something to always hold on to. I am thankful you are a strong woman in Christ, and you have the victory over such devastating grief.
    God bless.

    Hi Joan,
    Thank you for sharing this very personal story with us about the loss of your son Chris. Your message is so encouraging and brings me comfort that Jesus is always there to comfort us when we are hurting.
    God bless you.

    Dear Joan,
    Thank you so much for a very meaningful devotion. We all have prayers that seem to remain unanswered, but we know that God is always there to comfort us and give us the strength to carry on. May He continue to bless you and encourage you to write again.

    Hello Joan,
    So sorry to hear about your son’s tragedy and prayers that the Lord’s strength remain with you each and every day. Yes, whatever we are faced with and do not know why these things happen to us, God knows the reason and is ever with us.
    Blessings to you for your faith and love of Jesus.

    Dear Joani,
    Thank you for writing of your son.
    God understands the depths of your feelings, and he cares.
    I pray for you in this difficult time.
    God is near and cares deeply for you.
    God who gave himself, his life, for us cares and loves you.
    Keep writing.

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life Joan. Indeed it is very difficult when we do not understand why God has allowed things to turn out the way they do sometimes. l know l have certainly been devastated by some of the happenings within my life, and for a season have been angry and disappointed in God, but as you quoted “Lord to whom shall we go.” God is good, and trusting in His goodness and love and His ability to use all things for good in our life, even our tragedies, opens the avenue for His power and His love to move us forward through them.
    Many blessings upon you and your day.

    Joan, I don’t know how long ago Chris passed; the same hurt came to our family a year ago with the sudden passing of my husband. How do we live now? We prayed every morning for retirement or come quickly Lord Jesus. He was blessed with the latter.
    Retirement would not have been good enough for my husband, God found him worthy of heaven. But it sure hurts. Grief is not emotional; it is a deep physical pain that does not let up. If I could tell those experiencing loss something, it would be, it doesn’t let up. This pain will always be. Hugs to you Joan for sharing your loss, I appreciate your open soul.

    Joan, I do not understand why bad things happen to good people, or why God does not answer our prayers the way we expect. I used to think it was because my faith was not strong enough. I now know that is not true. One can spent so much, too much energy, in trying to understand WHY, when in reality things happen. I have come to understand it is not in the WHY but in the HOW we respond that is important. God reminds us that we need to turn to him always and he will give us strength to continue on.
    Joan, sharing your loss of a precious child with others not only takes much courage but is also a very strong example of witnessing as a child of God providing much needed hope to others.
    May God continue to bless you and make you a blessing to others,
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Been there too, Joan. Doesn’t make it any easier, I know but your words are profound, wise and true. My prayers and blessings to you today.

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