To those who suffer, what words of comfort dare we offer? Do we know the “word that sustains the weary,” (v. 4)? In the late 1990’s, besieged by circumstances unaccountably complex, my parents were faced with an impossible choice: choose which child you will keep. Working class salaries, especially when work became harder and harder to find, could no longer cover the medical care my younger brother needed. Can you imagine the loss? Who is there to vindicate your cause against government and economic systems that would rather see a family apart, than together?
Isaiah speaks prophetically of a God who knows loss and suffering, a God who is subject to impossible circumstances, and yet finds hope in the “Sovereign LORD who helps me,” (v. 9). The Jesus I identify with is the Jesus who knows what it is to suffer, and still finds hope. These are the words that sustain the weary.
God, in my suffering, may I hear your words of hope. Grant me the strength to believe in your help, and to allow you to be my vindicator. Amen.