The other day I received a particularly touching email from a family member. The writer recalled a difficult time in my life and through his words, I was reminded that during that struggle, although I felt alone, God remained by my side. That reminder brought me great comfort. It didn’t take the pain of the event away. It didn’t suddenly answer a thousand questions, like, “Why did you allow that to happen, Lord?” But it provided the only answer I needed–that God was there, with me, by my side.

Somehow that made all the difference.

Wednesday, after church, as I rode the bus with some children from local low-income areas, one of the girls crumpled in her seat, crying. I sat beside her. I didn’t know why she cried, but I knew she hurt. And I didn’t have the answers for her, nor could I fix whatever problems or trials she faced. But what I could do–what I did do, was sit beside her, rub her back, and let her know she was not alone.

I leaned close so she could hear me above the chatter of children’s voices as I spoke a promise, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed” Psalm 34:18 (NLT).

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