This week has been a heavy week. A few families I know (my family being one of them) are really suffering right now grieving the loss of a loved one or going through a very difficult time in their family life at home. I feel like nothing I say will ease their pain or make them feel any better. The last thing they want to hear is “They’re in a better place” or “God has a bigger plan” or “You’ll get through it.” What do we say to people that are hurting to their core and are battling depression or trying to understand why their loved one was stripped from their life so suddenly? Maybe all they need to know is that we love them and that we are there.
I was messaging a family member and she mentioned that she’s getting through it one day at a time, then later that day I read a hymn entitled “Day By Day.” I thought of her and how all the people I love that are grieving right now are probably just trying to get through this day, then tomorrow they’ll try to get through another day, then another. Sometimes, they are moments by moments.
The author of the hymn “Day By Day,” Lina Sandell Berg, was 26 years old when she accompanied her father on a trip to Gothenburg, but the ship they were on suddenly lost control and Lina’s father fell overboard and drowned right before her eyes. Through that tragedy came forth this song:
Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best–
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then in eve’ry tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
I marvel at the strength people exude in times of deep pain. God promises that His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105), so I hope and pray these verses bring some kind of comfort in these times of deep suffering.
Psalm 72: 20-21 “You who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness and comfort me on every side.”
Job 5:18 “For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”
Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Joshua 1:9 “…Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 67:1-2 “God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. That Your way may be known on earth. Your salvation among all nations.”
Psalm 71:3 “Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.”