Scripture: Psalm 146
Key Verse: “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” (Psalm 146:9)
Having served as a pastor for many years, I have walked alongside numerous families from which a mom or dad has been taken through an illness, accident, or sudden death. I have looked into the eyes of kids and seen the hurt, bewilderment, and grief of such loss. This became very personal to me when my brother-in-law died unexpectedly, as a relatively young man, due to a heart attack. On that occasion I remember well the pain and confusion our family felt, especially my sister, her teenage daughter, and two sons. When a person experiences the loss of a parent, particularly at a young age, it is normal to wonder if God cares and how this could fit into God’s plan.
I pondered how I could help them. What words were adequate? God’s Word says quite a bit to those who have suffered the loss of a parent as well as to others who are going through a difficult time. Scripture consistently reveals God as a God of mercy and compassion. We are assured that God is near and is with us in all our suffering. Read through this psalm and notice how God works on behalf of those experiencing hardship and difficulty. Make a brief list of the types of difficulty being addressed and how God responds.
How have you responded in times of hardship and difficulty? Perhaps you, a friend, or an extended family member has experienced the loss of a parent. Thinking about this psalm, how can God’s Word bring encouragement and hope in this situation or other times of suffering?
Look through your Bible or use a Bible app to find other passages that speak of God’s support and care for those who have suffered the loss of a parent (like Psalm 68:5 and James 1:27). Memorize one of the verses. Write it down and share it with someone who is presently going through this struggle.
Father, help me bring my pain to you. Heal my hurts and let me find hope and comfort in your Word. “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long” (Psalm 25:4–5).