|Once when I was talking on the phone with a Christian woman who was in the last stages of Lou Gehrig’s disease, I found myself groping for words to comfort her. Finally I realized the best thing I could offer was simply the comfort of Jesus, so I sang for her a favorite hymn:
I must tell Jesus all of my trials, I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me, He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
When I finished singing, I could tell she was calmed and greatly encouraged. She’d not been looking for answers; she was looking for Jesus. Pointing her to the Savior was the best thing I could do. When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, an orderly list of “sixteen good biblical reasons as to why this is happening” can sting like salt in a wound. You don’t stop the bleeding that way.
We must never distance the Bible’s answers from God. The problem of suffering is not about some thing but Someone. It follows that the answer must not be some thing but Someone. Besides, answers are for the head. They don’t always reach the problem where it hurts—in the gut and the heart. Jesus reaches us where we hurt.
If someone you know is struggling through a disease or a divorce or the death of a loved one, point them to the Savior, whether through your testimony, your words of encouragement, a shared memory, a poem, a Scripture passage, or a hymn. The answer to our deepest longings when we hurt is…Jesus.
Give me wisdom, Lord, to know exactly how to point people to you today.