“Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed.” 119:116
I’m in a season where things feel weighty. I check in daily with someone who will give birth to her stillborn son in a few months. Another friend, watching a family member fade on life support. Passing time in the waiting room as they lift up petitioning prayers to God. And another prayer on my list this week is for a family recovering from a suicide of a young woman, her kids, husband and family still in shock.
I don’t air these things lightly, or in exploitation. You have your list too. Things that weigh heavy on your heart, prompting doubt to peek it’s head around the corner.
I’m letting myself dwell on them, mostly because of how often I sidestep grief, or how seldom I want to acknowledge suffering. The Bible tells me blessed are those who mourn. Jesus cries with his friends when they lose someone. He doesn’t say anything weird or try to minimize their suffering. He sits down with them and he weeps. Even though moments later, he revived the man they were mourning, he met them where they were in that moment.
I want to be a friend like that. Someone who is comfortable with sorrow, someone who mourns when their friends mourn, meeting them where they are. God, who has overcome death forever, makes room for grief; so will I.
But I can’t do this without standing under his banner of hope. The more I cry out to him like the psalmist did (sustain me as you promised!), the more I have to offer those who are suffering.