Oh how easy it is to say to someone that they should trust God when things get hard. In fact, I could have responded to Mary in such a better way than I did when I texted her last night. While well-intentioned, sometimes our encouraging words are focused more on what wisdom we want to share instead of the other person’s best interests.
We want to help (that’s in our nature), so we tend to generate whatever comes to mind we think will be impactful…usually a Bible verse or a strengthening phrase. In reality, God is working on people’s hearts and bringing them to their own revelations in their tough circumstances regardless of what we say. He may use us, He may not.
In times of trouble, a worthy thing to say is simply: “I’m so sorry. I’ll be praying for you. Is there anything I can do to help?”
Is it boring? Absolutely. But it’s all we can say with authority when they’re in so much pain. It’s their own journey, and while we want to show them the other side, they have to see it for themselves.