She has been one of my dearest friends for over twenty-five years. Marlene was one of my bridesmaids. When her dress arrived two sizes too small, she wrapped herself in plastic wrap and cut calories for five days! That’s a true friend! She really is one of a kind. She used to be a hippie and lived in a nudist colony before she came to Christ. (There is nothing about being raised a Scottish Baptist that prepares you for that kind of information—nothing!) Marlene’s deep love for Christ has always challenged and encouraged me, but never more so than when she lost her beloved husband, Frank. I stood beside her as she wrestled with her faith, wept with her as she cried out to God, and have continued to walk with her as she shines even brighter against the background of her dark grief.
God’s presence with us through sorrow is both beautiful and mysterious to me. Sorrow has a way of brushing away the “fluff” from our communication with God. All the externals that seem so important on an average day are wiped away to expose the deepest, truest recesses of our hearts. There is no pretending to have it together in sorrow. No polite prayers. Few distractions. We are direct and focused because we need God.
All the pain prepares our hearts to fully hear from Him.
The very fact that God speaks to us in our sorrow is beautiful. When I think of how my powerful God, who created everything I see, is also so tender and gentle that His heart bends toward us when we are hurting… I am overwhelmed. We do not serve a callous or faraway God. We belong to a God who cares for the suffering and whose ear is attentive to their cry (Psalm 34:15).
God speaks the most sweetly during our times of sorrow.
If that’s where you are today, don’t hesitate to enter the throne room of your Father in heaven. He is waiting to draw you near and speak words of comfort and healing to your soul.
God is never closer to you than when your heart is broken.
Five Minutes in the Word
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are attentive to their cry. — Psalm 34:15
Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. — Psalm 4:1
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You. I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. — Psalm 61:1–2
My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of Your unfailing love. — Psalm 6:3–4
We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. — Romans 5:3–5
Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes with Jesus: Quiet Time for Your Soul by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh.
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Some of us are singing happy songs and enjoying an easy season. We thank God for that and we are happy for you! And, some of us can’t even pretend that our hearts aren’t split wide open. That’s the time to listen deep. The Lord has drawn near. And, He is speaking sweetly. Come share your comments on our blog. We want to hear from you.