The other night I wasn’t feeling well and I was awake at 3 AM dealing with a stomach bug. As I rested in bed in the wee hours of the night, unable to sleep, my mind kept thinking about the message I received that evening.
A number of people we know have been dealing with big crosses – serious health issues, miscarriage, job loss, marital problems – but when we found out that our friends Teresa and Nathan lost their four month old baby boy, who died in his sleep, I was shocked. This cannot be. I re-read the message thinking I got it wrong but before my eyes blurred with tears, I saw that it was true.
I had no words. I wanted to help ease their pain but there’s wasn’t much I could do at 3 in morning so I grabbed my rosary and started to pray. I knew they had a they had a strong faith in God but this would test them like nothing else ever has.
As I prayed for them, my mind went to this Scripture:
“But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God’s and not our own. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)
I finally drifted off to sleep but that Scripture stayed with me the following day.
Well, imagine my surprise when I realized that not only was that Scripture in today’s reading, but I also happened to write today’s Blessed Is She devotion (a month ago) about this Scripture and it echoed the very thoughts I was having. I wrote in part:
“To someone outside the faith, this [trusting in God] must look ridiculous. When they [Christians] are put into situations that should cause them despair, they have hope. The First Reading speaks of this beautifully. . . Of course, it is easy to say that these words are beautiful and poetic when things are going well in life, but when you are in the thick of a storm, the last thing you want to do is feel hopeful.
However, this is where all our talk of faith, hope and trust are put to the test. When everything is falling apart, and we’re dealing with an array of mixed emotions—from anger to anguish—that’s when we need to throw ourselves into the Father’s arms and rely on His grace to pull us through. . . ”
(Read the rest of the devotion over at Blessed Is She.)
Praying for Teresa and Nathan during our family rosary.
I went on to speak about how the physical and spiritual support we give to those carrying a heavy cross can be “a balm to the soul.”
I think God is trying to drive that point home to me because I just read Nathan and Teresa’s latest update. They thanked the people who helped pay for Timmy’s funeral and who offered physical, emotional and spiritual support to them. They say in part:
“Words cannot express our gratitude. I have tried over and over again to find some way to say how much your gifts mean to us, but I just can’t. Beyond caring for us in a material way, the show of love has been a balm for our aching souls.”
Please remember Teresa and Nathan, especially tomorrow (Wed) when they will bury their baby boy. Lift them up in your prayers and help them get through this unimaginably sorrowful time.
Then look around your own life. Is there someone who is struggling? Is there a way you can reach out and help? Let the Spirit move you. Or perhaps, you are carrying a heavy cross yourself. Feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Facebook or Instagram with your prayer intention. I will pray for you this week that God will give you strength, peace, healing and resolution.
In the love of Christ,
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