As I write on this day, I am aware that many friends are in the throes of darkness and despair. Some are facing devastating medical diagnoses. Some are yearning to have a child and are going through difficult medical procedures. Some are grieving for a family member in trouble. Some are waiting with hope for a cure for a disease that is bringing them to their knees. Others are enduring harsh medical treatments, hoping their lives will be saved. Many of them are at the point of losing all hope.
It hurts me deeply every time I am at a loss for comforting words. A little part of my heart breaks because I know I cannot “do something” to ease the suffering. And so I search for my own comfort as I search for ways to hold my friends in the light. As always, I am led to Scripture, not for easy answers, miraculous cures, or an instant panacea. I peek into the Bible to find words that will lift up hope in the middle of dark days and darker nights.
Often the words I find point me to the skies, as if gazing into an expanse beyond imagination might open my eyes to a radiant and holy hope. In truth, the words of Scripture do point me to hope.
From the Prophet Isaiah:
Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles?
Have you never heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
— Isaiah 40:26-29
From the Psalmist:
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers — the moon and the stars you have set in place — what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?
— Psalm 8:3-4
And so whoever you are, whatever pain you are carrying, know that the hands that made the stars are holding your heart.