So the nice guy in the brown truck just dropped off 4 boxes of pictures and books on my front porch. Cue happy dance.
Why I love Christmas shopping by myself:
May your weekend be full of joy in the miraculous grace of our Savior!
Nicole for the girls
Do you ever feel like you don’t know what to say to someone who is suffering? Are you ever tempted to avoid the person who is going through a trial? Do you worry about saying or doing the wrong thing?
In her second breakout session at the Sovereign Grace Pastors Conference, Nancy Guthrie offered some practical advice for how to serve the hurting. This is one of the most helpful talks I have ever heard on this topic and I hope every woman will listen, take notes, and seek to grow in love toward those who are suffering. Nancy offers six ways to walk with people through loss:
“Sometimes we see people struggling and we want them to come so quickly to resolution, to figure everything out. The truth is, as we minister to other women, we do want them to come to resolution, we do want them to come to some peace, figuring things out. But sometimes I think we are in a much bigger hurry than God is Himself. What a gift it is to other women to be willing to sit—not forever, but at least for a while. To just go, “Wow, this is hard isn’t it?”“
“Don’t think tears are the problem. Tears are a gift that God gives us to help wash away the deep pain that we feel and experience from living life in the brokenness of this world. There are some things worth crying about. There are some people worth crying about.”
10 purposes in the Bible for which God wants to use suffering:
“If that is the fruit of the suffering in the people’s lives you minister to, that’s really good fruit: to know God as he is, not what we’ve tried to make him into.”
“Grief puts a lot of pressure on a family.”
“So often we think: when I get this figured out, when I feel better, I can turn toward ministering to other people. I want to say: The way we begin to feel better is to begin to minister to other people uniquely out of our loss.”
You can listen to Nancy’s message, “Learning to Walk with Each Other Through Loss” here.
So if the pain can’t be prayed away, how do we pray? If the answer from God seems to be “no,” should we keep repeating the same requests? Or should we just stop praying?
A friend and I were talking about this recently. We’d both reached this point in our lives. We had prayed those “righteous, rigorous, repeated” prayers Nancy Guthrie talked about, but the answer from God still seemed to be “no.” Uncertain of how to pray, we each returned to God’s Word, and in particular, to the Psalms.
When we feel like don’t know how to pray (and even when we think we do!) we must rely on the prayers given to us by God. Throughout the Bible, but especially in the Psalms, God has provided relevant, profound, infallible prayers.
Here we cannot go wrong. Here we can pray each and every word with confidence—certain that God is pleased to hear the prayers of His eternal Word, prayed in faith, in the name of Jesus Christ.
And these prayers are not lifeless or detached from the struggles and stresses of real life. They are waiting for us in the depths of human grief, confusion, and uncertainty; they pull us up to the heights of praise.
So when you can’t pray away the pain, pray through the pain. Pray through God’s Word. Pray through the Psalms.
“The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9
One year ago today we met Jude and Sophie for the first time.
Today we cannot imagine our family without them. So grateful to God!
“I wonder if anyone is this room has ever sensed that God has said “no” to you? You prayed for there to be reconciliation in the marriage and it ended in divorce. You prayed for resources and you were willing to work and yet still the house went into foreclosure or the business went into bankruptcy. You prayed for that child to turn toward you or turn toward faith and he has lingered in rebellion. You prayed for and begged God and believed God for healing and yet have had to learn to live with the discomfort or the disability. I know many of you know what it is to go to God with a righteous, rigorous, repeated prayer and sense that heaven is closed to you, that God has said “no” to you. Sometimes God glorifies himself by delivering us from the difficulty and sometimes he glorifies himself by delivering us through the difficulty that he does not take away from us.”
How do we respond when God does not take away the trial or the pain? We want to strongly encourage you to listen and learn from this wise woman’s experience of learning to trust in God’s Word through suffering.
Today is the Cyber Monday Sale over at 52home@home and we’re offering free shipping on every order. Simply enter the code “ShipFree” at checkout. All orders are guaranteed in time for Christmas.
We hope you’ll enjoy these unique gifts for the home this Christmas!
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We’re enjoying one more day with family, but we’ll see you back here Monday. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the Black Friday sale over at 52home. Have a grace-filled weekend!
Nicole for the girltalkers