I’ve been in that familiar place again, battling discouragement.
My son has been battling for so long. First eczema. Then topical steroid withdrawal. Now residual skin infections and rashes that don’t seem to budge for nothing.
God only knows the pain we’ve experienced. I say “we” because there is no pain like watching your baby suffer. God only knows the tears. The cries. The sheer wretchedness.
The battle rages on.
I was reminded recently that sometimes there aren’t any words. Or at least, words that should be spoken. I was talking to a family member about trying to find God’s purpose in suffering and was barely even able to speak my piece before being barraged with a tidal wave of insensitive, unwanted advice. When someone has been through a trial like that, really- they just want to be heard. I know it is in our human nature to try to give a quick answer (when there isn’t one) and sometimes trite words of wisdom do far more harm than good. I’ve had to wrestle through anger and just sheer weariness. So please, if you know someone going through a tough trial; just be there for them. Don’t pretend like you know what they are going through or dish out advice. Just listen.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
I try to be gracious because, really, sometimes we just have no idea. I know I can look back on some things I said and did that were horribly insensitive, just because I simply didn’t know. Walking through heartache, especially an extended season where there’s no end in sight, has a way of bringing humility that can’t be gained any other way.
What God has been speaking to me lately has been about the crown of victory.
“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” Revelation 3:11
If you are a believer, you have an incredible inheritance. You are already seated in Heavenly places. You have a crown and you are royalty. God wants you to become an overcomer. If we didn’t have battles to fight, Goliaths to overcome- our stories wouldn’t be very interesting, would they? We have a crown on our heads but a sword in our hands. There are battles to be fought, giants to be defeated.
Keep your chin up. Keep fighting.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book….Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles.” Psalm 56:8, 2 Cor. 4:17