Words for Hard Places

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”  

“Here I am,” he replied…(Genesis 22:1).

I sat beside the bed of my dying friend this weekend. I held her hand and the tears flowed freely. She was a life mentor to me in my earlier years. She taught me the value of a clean and orderly home, of giving soft answers, and of trusting Jesus with… everything. Even now, in her final days, she is still the epitome of graciousness and everything kind. She knows she’ll be with her Jesus soon…and her beloved daughter. Years of suffering are finally ending though she leaves so many she loves behind.

Death is not a delicate process and it takes some Holy Spirit help to stay centered in the midst of it all. Though I tried to tell her all she’s meant to me, words always fall short for places of the heart. With my Westernized upbringing, I found myself a little unprepared for being in the room with someone actively dying. Here I am, God…with my precious friend. Help. Do come sit with me, with us, in this very hard place.

Here I am, God.

Powerful words for hard places.

Abraham said these words with great grief in a moment of inconceivable sacrifice (Genesis 22).

Isaiah said them knowing how fiercely unfit he was for service in God’s kingdom (Isaiah 6).

Little Samuel said them during a season when “the word of the Lord was rare” (1 Samuel 3).

Here I am, God. 

These words help us stay connected with God in this moment, in this place, no matter how difficult (or good). They guard us from distraction and keep us open to receive all the healing graces needed for right here, right now.

Where are you today? What would it be like to tell God about it?

 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).


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