Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about kids having seizures. Larry and I deeply empathize with parents facing the horrifying moments, hours or even years watching their child suffer with uncontrolled seizures. We are very thankful that our daughter Carly’s seizures have been well managed for several years now and we never take it for granted. Even the non-seizure episodes she has are so similar to a seizure that they serve as a regular reminder of how helpless, scared and lonely a person can feel when watching a loved one suffer.

I got to thinking about the first time Carly had a seizure and what it meant to have a neighbor walk through that shocking and overwhelming situation with us. We knew nothing about seizures at that time and it lasted well over an hour so you might imagine we appreciated a quick education and the good deal of comfort we got from having someone there who had been through it before us.

That night in the emergency room, our friend stood in the wings offering reassuring words and prompting us with questions we might ask the doctors. In the 11 years since that night, we have reminisced frequently and fondly about the treasure it was to experience her empathy, prayers, and quiet, respectful guidance.

Over the years, we’ve had friends come alongside us in remarkable ways, especially when we’ve been in the midst of adversity. There have also been times when we have felt quite forgotten, and sometimes even abandoned, by our friends. For as wonderful and important as it is to have someone come alongside of us when we are feeling hurt, confused, scared or tired, people will never fully satisfy us. Only God can do that.

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

I know there are others reading this today who, like me, need to review God’s promises frequently. We need to remember that Jesus has walked in our shoes. Not only does He perfectly understand our situations and our needs but also, by the power of the Holy Spirit, God is present and available to us at all times to empathize with us, guide us, strengthen us and give us His peace. We don’t have to earn that accessibility — it’s simply a gift to be received.

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:5

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:114

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49:13

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

COME, LORD JESUS! Help me to trust in your presence, power and great love for me. Cause these promises from Your Word to sink into my soul and become deeply personal to me. Give me godly friends to encourage me through life with but teach me how to rest my heart and life completely in my relationship with You, Lord God. AMEN