Earlier this evening I was reading in an old book that I have, "The Precious Things of God" by Octavius Winslow. In particular, I was reading the chapter on the preciousness of trial. I was inspired by a great amount of what is written in this chapter being reminded that our trials and suffering can bear the disguise of a foe, but in reality are a friend.
And then within hours i would have to put my belief in that to the test. My oldest son, who has CP broke down and shared his heart with me over the loneliness that he is struggling with at school. He started high school this year and all seemed to be going OK, so I thought, but tonite he spoke of how he feels as if he does not have any friends.
The river of sorrow runs deep and strong in my soul right now, and the current quickly can pull me in to it. Surely, there is nothing like watching your child suffer that tears your heart a part. Lord, how much can I handle? Standing amidst the rubble of a major crisis, I then bear up the suffering of my daughter in physical pain and my son in emotional pain. I know ... God says He does not give us more than we can handle. But I am tempted to wonder.
It is one thing to struggle and endure and grow through a trial of your own, and a whole other experience to help your child do so. I found myself almost at a loss of words. What was I to tell my son in his deep loneliness? How could I direct him to the only Hope that we have without minimizing his pain? What words would make a difference?
I cried with him, tried to brainstorm about resources that we could turn to and prayed with him. And now, late at night, I am entrusting Him to the tender care of our loving Father in heaven who loves him more than I even do.
I shared with him that even though we can not understand why or what is happening, we can trust that God is in control of everything and that we do have a friend in Jesus. When we are lonely, we can turn to Him, and He is the best friend that we can have. I prayed for my son that he would know Jesus in a special way in the days and weeks to come and that he would be able to lean on him, even in his saddest moments, and that this dear friend, Jesus, is a man who is familiar with sorrows, just like the sorrows that my son is experiencing. Just like the sorrows that you and I are experiencing.
Isaiah 53:3 appropriately says, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering."
Dear reader, if you struggle with loneliness today, I want to encourage you to lean in to Jesus. He knows your every heart ache and your every burden; He has experienced them all in great measure. He will come in and fill the lonely places with His perfectly sized love for us.