I need this.

It was my friend and not me who had the inspiration for us to study the prophets this year in Bible study. I texted her yesterday before class. “WE MADE IT!” I exulted, and yes, in all caps which, as I told you yesterday, is warranted and appropriate. She moved away a couple of months ago; I miss her every Tuesday but yesterday even more so.

In the midst of all the happy dancing and exulting yesterday, real life intruded in all its pain and difficulty. Prior to class one friend told me of a tragic loss in her family, tears rolling down her cheeks as she asked me to pray for them. Another friend had an appointment yesterday afternoon and feared the very worst. Last night my husband received a text; his friend’s wife has a brain tumor, would we pray.

My heart is heavy this morning. I don’t know what to say or even what to ask of the Lord. “Have mercy,” I pray.

Life is so very hard. We each of us will face similar devastation or struggle; if not us then someone we know and care about. What then? Where then is our hope? Where then is our strength? What will sustain?

I can’t pretend to know or understand the struggle my friends are each enduring. I do know this: our only hope is Christ. Our only strength is in Him. He alone can sustain. My friends know this and I am grateful for their confidence amidst great difficulty and heartache.

It’s not just the close of a Bible study unit that reminds me but the reality of life itself: we need the Word. We need the promises of God. We need to know who God is and that we can trust Him even in the most painful and confusing circumstances of life. We need the gospel, yesterday, today and tomorrow, and we need the hope it gives to fuel our perseverance. We need grace and mercy to save us and to help us. We need reminding this world is not our home and that one day, one glorious day, our faith will be sight and we will see Him, our Savior, and our joy, our hope, will be complete. We need the Word.

I need this. You need this. Yes and amen.


Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

10 thoughts on “I need this.”

  1. We lost our bass guitar player yesterday in our church. He was only 49 and died unexpectedly. Thank God that this family is very faith oriented and with that, they will feel God’s comforting arms around them. He left a wife and three kids. So comforting to know we have our Church family too. We are all still in shock but know God had a purpose in this. An autopsy is being performed at this time. Thanks for all your great posts.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. I see I’m not alone in receiving bad news yesterday. God is with us, we need his word for sure. “the God of angel armies is always by my side”

  3. As I read your blog I was transported to a book I have just started reading: “To Live Again” by Catherine Marshall written after her husband Peter Marshall died in 1949. She was ill prepared to be anything but his wife but this books tells of the ways she has to really learn all over again how to lean on God and the promises He has made. She has to learn that the Bible really has all the answers she needs if she is willing to read and search. Not all the answers she wants – just needs. A great read for anyone and especially if you are grieving, going through difficult times or whatever.

  4. Child of My love, lean hard,
    And let Me feel the pressure of thy care,
    I know thy burden, child; I shaped it,
    Poised in Mine own hand, made no proportion
    In its weight to thine unaided strength;
    For even as I laid it on I said,
    “I shall be near, and while she leans on Me,
    This burden shall be Mine, not hers;
    So shall I keep My child within the circling arms,
    Of Mine own love.” Here lay it down, nor fear
    To impose it on a shoulder which upholds
    The government of worlds. Yet closer come,
    Thou art not near enough; I would embrace thy care,
    So I might feel My child reposing on My breast.
    Thou lovest me? I know it. Doubt not, then,
    But, loving Me, lean hard.

    by Octavius Winslow (1808 – 1878)

    1. I copied and pasted that rather hastily before heading out the door, without so much as a greeting to go with it. But thank you for this post and the last – a beautiful pair. And these words from Mr Winslow – so comforting. Lean hard.

  5. Lisa, it seems for some reason that so many tragedies are happening right now everywhere I turn. I don’t know what would we do without the anchor of God’s Word and the comfort of His Holy Spirit!

  6. Pain without faith is despair, raw, grinding, bitter hopelessness leading to sin and deeper pain. Pain with faith is still pain, still raw, even bitter at times, but not hopeless, not despairing, not prone to run into sin but propelled onward and upward and deeper into the Word – Christ.

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