It has been several months since I have written an article for the North Valley News, and it is with some reluctance that I write this one. Trying to determine what to write, I have asked myself several times what could I say that would be pertinent to fit needs while being a blessing and an encouragement to you.
A lot of water has gone under the bridge since my last “For Women Only” article. During 2010, many happenings in my life in have been exciting and wonderful, while others have been heart-wrenching and devastating. It is easy to praise God when things go smoothly; but when heartaches and disappointments come, that can be a different story. If you’ve had one of those “less fortunate” experiences in your life, you know what it’s like to have well-meaning people try to cheer you up and give you plenty of advice and, of course, Scripture. While people mean well (and I have done the same thing), quoting Scripture and telling someone that God has everything under control doesn’t always bring comfort.
Now, before you say, “Wow, Mrs. Trieber, how unspiritual of you,” let me explain. When a person has been saved for years and is truly seeking a close relationship with the Lord, that person really doesn’t need someone quoting Romans 8:28 to her. She knows it is in the Bible and probably has quoted it many times herself. Another thing people don’t need to hear is about your experiences and how bad you have or have had it! I know we would all like to think our situation is a “ first,” but it just isn’t so. We’ve all read the quote,
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”
and many others just like it. There’s no need to share them with a seasoned Christian going through dark days.
Let me share with you what one friend did for me. She wrote a personal note in her own handwriting, (not a text or an e-mail) and simply said: “ I know you have gone through some difficult experiences and although I can’t say anything you don’t already know, I wanted to let you know that I am praying for you.” That was it, cut and dried! I read the note and thought, “No story to share and no list of Psalms or Scriptures to read? That’s unusual.” That simple note from a dear friend many miles away made me realize how I need to be careful with the advice I give and the comments I offer when others are going through hard times.
February is known as national “Love Your Heart” month. You can easily pick up more than one magazine in your local grocery store or Target that will suggest good things to do for your heart like diet, exercise and supplements that all promise to be “heart healthy.” Suffering from a broken heart can hurt so deeply that it actually causes your physical heart to hurt. Let me encourage you with this thought: broken hearts do mend even though, at the time, it doesn’t seem they ever will. Do what is necessary to help with your heartache—like reading Scripture, praying, singing songs and hymns—then let God do His perfect work in your life.
Keep in mind that you are not the first to be acquainted with sorrow, grief and pain; and be very careful what you say to others during their difficult times. You will be so glad you did!
Cindie Trieber has served the people of our ministry for more than three decades as the Pastor’s Wife. She teaches in the college and is a godly mother and “Nana." She recently completed her first book entitled With All My Heart.