In recent months I have carried a heaviness of heart for many of the women I serve as their problems increasingly reflect the impact of our culture on their lives:
- How to handle the suffering of a friend or family member being treated for cancer with little hope of survival?
- Facing the uncertainty of the job market with moms caring for children on their own; can things stretch any further?
- Working to prevent the death of a marriage due to the unfaithfulness of a spouse; is there hope?
- The pain suffered within our community over the death of a high school senior who decided she didn’t want to live anymore. Can God bring good out of such tragedy?
There are no pat answers to such problems and, as a counselor, I confess that there are times when I feel at a loss for words as my heart cries out, “Dear God, please help!” Listening is important as I seek to communicate that I care; but it is in those “at a loss” moments that I am so very grateful to remember that there are not two persons in the Counseling Room but three:
- Thank You God for bringing us together to meet with You today. Thank You for the life of (my client’s name), thank You that You have a plan and purpose for her life even though right now it is difficult to see.
- Lord, thank You that You are the Shepherd of our hearts; please direct the path of our conversation as you give us sensitivity to Your Spirit and Your Word.
- Help me, Lord, know how to best help (my client’s name) and please Lord, encourage her heart as she remembers that You are her God of Hope. Deepen our faith Lord as we look to and trust in You . . . .
In recent weeks our focus has been on God as our Shepherd and Comforter.
- II Corinthians 1:3-5 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”
- John 10:14,15, 27-30 Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep . . . My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
As we look to the Scriptures for wisdom and perspective we find Christ as comfort for our souls. As we hold onto Christ as our sole comfort, we cling to the hope that life in the “now” is not all that there is.
Are you struggling with a problem right now or trying to help a friend who is in trouble? Do you know Christ as your Lord and Savior? Then be sure to invite Him into the middle of your conversation as you look to Him and to His amazing Word for the help you need. Celebrate His faithfulness in working out His will for your life and for the life of your friend. And by all means, give thanks to Him that He has your eternal future in His hands. He is totally worthy of our trust!
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:16-18