Her quick response deflated my already burdened heart as she cheerily chirped: “It’s another opportunity to trust God.” True words, but not the ones I needed in that moment. At that moment, I was struggling through something that seemed insurmountable, and I needed encouragement that spoke to my condition right then.
Untimely songs to a heavy heart heap the weight of guilt upon an already overburdened soul. When the kids were little, we received our missionary support income monthly. You can imagine the real needs that pile up over four long weeks! Due to a miscommunication, one month we received nothing. Instead of four weeks with no income, we were left with few prospects for eight weeks. In the moment, one of our leaders said glibly, “Well, it’s another opportunity to trust God!”
I’m all about trusting God. Through years of missionary service, He was faithful to supply all our needs and many of our wants. But that doesn’t mean that we floated through every moment in calm assurance. Quite the contrary, there were moments of frustration and soul-searching that led us back to trusting Him. In those moments, we didn’t need glib comments, but a loving friend to emote with us and pray with us. Like my friend Dawn who years earlier met me in my driveway as I walked out of the house to clear my head from a particularly difficult struggle; she got out of her car, and said, “God told me to come see you. What’s wrong?”
I don’t pretend to know how that works, but I do know that over the years, she and I have been hundreds, even thousands of miles apart, and in times of need, God has prompted each of us to contact the other to offer comfort. Not one time, has this dear friend ever told me my feelings were irrational and that I needed to just get over it and move on. She didn’t do that because she knew I would tell myself that, and she also knew many others would go there. She simply listened and prayed for me, and I returned the favor.
Like vinegar on a wound, my positive words can actually make matters worse.
…and that’s the view From My Front Porch.