Shedding the mental sackcloth

When I first heard that my valued friend had passed away, I was momentarily overcome with grief. Prayer seemed futile—merely words. I felt unable to think. Just then a mutual friend called and reminded me that God was sustaining the true knowing that was mine.

Here was something to hold to. I was not alone. God was with me. He had never left me, or anyone. My very effort to pray—no matter how feeble—was all along being supported and sustained by God, the initiator of every right impulse. He was in fact the motive power impelling me to resist heartache and anguish. This divine influence wouldn't let me be trapped in sorrow.

The knowledge that God nourishes every mental sprout as it reaches out for comfort and joy strengthened me, and I continued to pray. I remembered Luke's account of Jesus' struggle in Gethsemane. Not for a moment did I equate Jesus' unmatched ordeal with my own personal sorrow, but in his example I saw what I must do. Luke says simply: "Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly." Luke 22:44; I, too, had to persist.

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January 14, 1980

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