Recently, a couple very special to me lost their daughter. It was very unexpected and, to make matters worse, she was estranged from them, so they never even got to say goodbye. They have been on my heart and mind.

It has brought up painful memories of losses in my life. My sister was shot and killed in a random carjacking when she was only 19. No one can compare you for the shock of this kind of death or the impact it will have on your life forever. Contrast that with the long pain and suffering my mother went through as she battled cancer three times … a battle that would slowly and painfully take her life. All the while, my dear grandmother left us long before she passed away as dementia took her mind. After years of not knowing us, she died just a few months before mom.

I can tell you that these different tragedies brought about very different types of suffering. But they also brought the blessing of knowing that my God was there through it all. When mom was fighting her last cancer, someone sent her a song that was such an encouragement. I share a portion of this today for my friends in their loss:

We pray for blessings We pray for peace Comfort for family, protection while we sleep We pray for healing, for prosperity We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering All the while, You hear each spoken need Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops What if Your healing comes through tears What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

God is faithful! His mercies are new every morning and His comfort is very real. I pray that whatever difficulty, sickness, hardship or sorrow you may be facing, you will know that you are not alone. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)

Susan Rodgers is a major with The Salvation Army in Florence.