When You Have No Words

You know those times when something is laid at your feet. Something that is too heavy to lift so you stare at it awkwardly. You hope someone else will pick it up and continue with it, but no, they don’t know how to attempt to carry it either. Or someone tries and somehow makes it seem heavier. The feeling of panic rises because you know you need to help this person carry it and you feel unequipped. You feel useless and want to slink away.

The thing laying at your feet is someone’s situation. A sickness, an endless job search, an overwhelming loneliness or any number of issues that people go through all the time. No words feel adequate. It seems like whatever you say will appear trite and meaningless.

Oh sure, you ask if they need anything. Then you look back down at that massive weight and think there is nothing you can do.

But there is.

When someone is going through a really hard time, their struggle may be as much inside as it is outside. You can help take care of their physical needs, but they will still be in this deep pit. Every day seems like an insurmountable challenge to get through. They may be able to see the other side or they may doubt the other side exists. There is only them and this black hole that is sucking the life out of them.

When I said there is something you can do, I really meant there is something God can do. You just need to keep asking Him on their behalf. They may not have the strength to ask day after day because they are so weary from the fight. You can pray for them to stay strong and courageous. You can pray they never lose hope. You can pray they have wisdom to know how to handle it. Pray whatever you feel led as long as you keep praying.

In this trial, God may be unveiling parts of this person that they didn’t know were there. He often uses the deepest darkest pits to show His light and power the most. Satan knows this is true, and he will do everything he can to take this person’s eyes off God. He will distract them and make them feel despair. It may be you storming the gates of heaven for this person to keep holding on.

When you don’t have words to comfort someone, you have your knees. Get on them and pray like their life depends on it. It just might.

Linking with Holley Gerth

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8 thoughts on “When You Have No Words

  1. This is wise advice, Sarah. Far too often I try and help someone on my own, just running at them full force. But you are so right about turning to God first. What a difference that makes. He will lead us in the best way to serve. And there is nothing like praying for someone to truly help them!

  2. I’ve been on both sides of this equation, Sarah, I want you to know that your advice is spot on. If I could add one thing… because we will all feel inadequate in making a difference and meeting the “need” …the one thing we must not do is pray in secret or walk away. Physical presence is necessary during trying times. AND it is important to the one hurting to know we are praying for her. If we don’t say anything she won’t assume we’re praying. And if we’re praying, we surely can listen for promptings for how/when to reach out. It might be something as simple as an invitation to coffee or dropping by with something in our hands. We are the hands of Jesus to the hurting. We cannot keep those precious hands to ourselves. 🙂
    Thanks for this timely post, Sarah!

    1. Physical presence is most definitely necessary. I have been on both sides and it isn’t easy either way. I love your comment on how we can’t keep those precious hands to ourselves. So true!

  3. Wow, Sarah. This is a powerful offering to us today. Lots of food for thought, a beautiful prompt to look toward our Savior in the midst of these kind of difficult seasons.

    Thanks, friend …

  4. This is so true- often it’s not the words that are important. It’s the fact that we care and that we are willing to stick around even when we don’t have the answers and just be there and, as you say, keep praying.

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