Two Things To Do When Hard Lingers

Gold Brush Stroke

Remembering God’s promises brings solace in the midst of the hard.

All it took was a phone call. One call and the stress I’d been able to set aside for an entire glorious day came rushing back: a reminder that hard is never far away.

Rachel (our precious 20-year-old daughter who functions on the level of a preschooler) was off to an amazing camp for 5 nights, our oldest boys no longer lived at home, and our youngest was working at church camp for the week. My husband and I had the week to ourselves.

We both had to work a couple of days, so no exotic vacations could be planned. Instead I eagerly sketched out a stay-cation. I’d have a couple much-needed days to myself and then we’d spend an equally important day and a half focusing on us as a couple. No set schedule. No certain time we had to be anywhere.

And it was everything I needed … for a day.

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The Hard

Then the dreaded call came. Rachel was acting out, shoving others and being stubborn. As camp staff explained her actions and what they had tried, frustration mounted, tears welled.

A few days to renew and refresh. That’s all I’m asking for!

With Rachel’s severely limited vocabulary and delayed understanding, discovering what causes her behaviors and how to help her is trial and error. 

She is such a delightful person to be with when she’s happy and contented. I want people to see that side of her. But that won’t always be the case. We can expect that we’ll be receiving more phone calls like this throughout her lifetime. 

And it’s hard … very hard for this mama’s heart.

We all walk this tension between wanting to experience only the delightful but dealing with the reality of hard times in our lives. Your hard may not involve disability. It may be finances, marital issues, prodigal children, infertility, miscarriage.

But it hurts the same.

We serve a good God, but life can (and is) still tough. So what do we do when hard doesn’t go away? How do we handle difficulties that pop up when we most need rest?

I’m there right now. Looking squarely into the face of the hard. Trying to reconcile the tension.

And honestly, there are moments I want to run away. Find a way to escape the reality of our troubles. But this is a cross my husband and I must bear. We all have them.

And while I don’t have all the answers, I have learned a few things to pass on. Here are two strategies to incorporate that won’t keep all the tears at bay, but will help usher in smiles more readily

  1. Don’t miss the gifts. Give thanks for the days, hours, minutes you can delight in.
  2. No matter how angry or upset you are, look to the only One who can provide peace in all circumstances: Jesus Christ. Remembering His promises brings solace in the midst of the mess.

Two tips for finding solace in those lingering hard times: (1) Notice the gifts, and (2) Remind yourself of the Lord's promises. Share on X

Don’t Miss the Gifts

I’m grateful for the day I had to shake off the stress, but I wanted more. Unfortunately, a second call came. The decision was made to end her time at camp early. I could have (and did for a bit) get stuck in the injustice of it all. 

But when I finally pulled my focus from the depth of my hurt to look around, I noticed some moments to rejoice in:

  • the beautiful way my husband handled the situation … and comforted me,
  • the obvious love and comfort Rachel felt in our presence, 
  • the professional and caring way camp staff handled it all.

And I could smile a bit.

Remember God and His Promises

Jesus offers peace in the midst of the hard, but we have to be open to receiving it by remembering His promises. As a child of God, a disciple of Jesus, we have sufficient grace to meet our needs in each stress that comes our way. It’s a grace that meets us the moment we need it, not a minute sooner or later.

His promises are grace. In this situation I kept remembering that He vowed to someday wipe away all our tears. What a lovely future reality to cling to.

It didn’t take away all the pain I was feeling. That was still real. But it gave me hope that the pain wouldn’t win.

When we remember God’s promises and are reminded that pain will ultimately be defeated, we can step a little lighter. Peace becomes ours … no matter what chaos meets us in our days.

When we remember God's promises and are reminded that pain will ultimately be defeated, we can step a little lighter. Peace becomes ours ... no matter what chaos meets us in our days. Share on X

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4, CSB).

Your Turn

Reflections: What promise(s) of God do you cling to in your pain?

By His Grace,


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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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