On the way to church yesterday morning we got the news. One of our closest friends had lost her dad.
Suddenly nothing else really mattered.
We stopped and prayed right there in the car. We prayed for her and her family. We prayed for those who had yet to find out. We prayed.
I don't remember what I had been saying before. Was I reminding Amy to sit quietly at church? Was I asking Hannah if she felt better after her bout with sickness? Was I telling Ashley how much I enjoyed my new scarf?
I don't know. But whatever it was became very unimportant very quickly.
Because our friend was hurting.
And I'm not there.
It's hard to be away from friends in times like these. I would love to wrap my arms around her and shed tears right along with her, but she's a thousand miles away in Texas and I'm here, in Ohio.
But she's not alone. She is surrounded by her family and friends.
And most importantly, God holds her close.
Psalm 46:1 tells us, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
He will be her safe place in this difficult time. He will help her when she doesn't think she can take one more step. He will be present. Very present.
What a blessing in the midst of this great loss. It's not that we won't have to go through troubles, it's that He promises to travel with us through them. A present help. Through every trouble.
Even the ones that take us by surprise and knock the wind out of us.
Dear friend we love you and are praying that you seek His refuge, lean on His strength and feel His presence.
And I still wish I was there to give you that hug.