It seems the older I get, the more aware I am of the intense suffering in the world. I’m not talking about poverty or war. I’m talking about people in my life – my family, my church family and my friends. It can be overwhelming when you realize all the hard things that happen to good people. A caring, faithful pastor fights a short but hard battle with cancer and dies. A kind, devoted mother and wife fights a long and hard battle with cancer and dies. A hardworking single mom loses everything she owns in a house fire. Excited young parents lose their first child before she is born.
How do we cope with the torrent of heartbreaking news that reaches our ears and eyes every day?
We have a choice. We can dismiss the sad thoughts with a “My, that’s so sad” as we go on through our day. We can be overwhelmed and choose to despair. Or, we can turn to the One who has carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4). I find that anytime I am burdened or overwhelmed with care for someone, the best thing I can do is to pray a passage of Scripture for that person. I may not be able to do anything for their situation, but the promises of God’s Word bring comfort and hope.
My favorite passage to pray is Psalm 91. I remember hearing my Mom quote this passage very early in my life as our family went through a trial. It comforted me then, and it comforts me now. It’s amazing how the Word of God does that for us as believers!
Is there a particular passage you pray when those you love are hurting?