Published March 9, 2010

Paul's Epistle...
"Comfort In Loss"

Cleaning out old e-mails from my home computer the other day I came across one from a listener that I received a few years ago that was a plea for help:

"Paul, on the 13th of this month, I lost my 16 year old grandson in an awful car wreck along with his best friend. I am unable to pray for myself right now and so am asking everyone I know to hold me up in prayer. I know Satan is a liar and he is trying to make me believe many things that just aren't true.

"My grandson loved the Lord and was very active in our church. He just came back from camp and you could see the joy of Christ in his face. Please pray for us to find a way to live without him without losing our minds. Thank you so much."

As I read that e-mail, I could feel the concern and the pain in this woman's heart. Because many go through similar periods of grieving, I wanted to share with you my unedited response, which, I trust, may be an encouragement to you, too:

"[Name withheld], thanks for your note.

"First, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandson. The loss of a loved one, especially at such a young age, is one of the most difficult things we have to bear in this life.

"I am troubled that you feel you are unable to pray for yourself right now. While I know and understand exactly what you are saying, please be aware that this is a danger sign in your spiritual life. As a rule, [at a time] when it is most difficult to pray is exactly when your need to pray is the greatest. Heb. 4:16 tells us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Be bold! The Father really does want to hear you cry out to Him from your heart. "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." (Psalm 55:22.) He's the only One who can mend a broken heart.

"Often we ‘know' those things and what we should do (as, I'm sure, is the case for you), but have trouble actually doing it. Well....just DO it! Get in a quiet place and force yourself. Pour out your frustrations, your fears, your tears, your ‘cares' to the Lord. Easy to say, but hard to do. But just do it!

"Praise God that your grandson knew the Lord! Start your prayer with praise for that. Praise opens the door.

"I've prayed for you this morning. But please remember that the most important prayer on your behalf is your own, because God can speak through that prayer as you pray and can then begin a good work in your heart. God will provide His peace for your mind: "You [God] will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You." (Isa. 26:3.) Jesus instructed us, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30.) If you love God with all of your mind, there's no room there in your mind for anything else — no room for fears. "...the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:6.) Ask God for His Holy Spirit to work His will in your life.

"‘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'" (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

"Be comforted in this today."

You, too.

- Paul

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