This morning I woke up to the news that one of my dear friends will begin chemotherapy this week. He will, supposedly, only need a few sessions, but I know that he and his family are anxious about what lies ahead and just not knowing exactly how it will make him feel. My immediate reaction was, ” Oh no, I’m leaving town. What can I do?” I googled “best gifts for chemo patients” which in retrospect just sounds dumb, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when someone you love is facing hard times that, honestly, you just can’t relate to.
After I heard the news, I opened today’s devotional on my e-mail which, of course, was a comforting reminder of God’s love and strength. The verses include these from Isaiah:
“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak . . . those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (40:28-31).
I don’t really know how to segue this next thought into the first, so I will just begin. Another of my friend’s is in the Navy and left this morning for a 6 month deployment. I know how anxious he’s been about leaving, and as I talked to him last night, I tried to think of something to say that would help him feel better about being away from his family and home for so long with relatively limited communication. Words failed me, and all I ended up saying was some jumbled form of “Well, maybe it will go by faster than you think.” That’s lame, I know.
It’s hard to comfort others sometimes. I get sad when the people I know and love are feeling lonely or sick. I struggle with feeling like I can’t do much to help them except write lots of letters or visit when they’re feeling low and remind them that God will take care of them. I get frustrated with myself for not knowing what to do because if someone would just tell me, I’d be right on it. Sometimes I guess there just isn’t that much we can do besides make sure others know we love and support them. I know that God is with us always– in the hard and easy times– and I’m thankful for the words that remind us that God’s strength is more than enough for us.