Thursday, June 20, 2013

When We Have No Words

We've all been there.  It's that moment when you are in the middle of an important conversation, sharing a very important point, and you can't find the right word(s).  Your tongue goes numb and your brain goes blank and the stammering begins; no matter how hard you try to come up with the right thing to say--there is nothing.  These moments can come at any time, from a game of Trivia to an interview for a new job.  

Sometimes it isn't our brain that can't come up with the right word; sometimes it's our heart.  When you visit the family of a sick child in the hospital and they ask you why this has happened to them.  When your daughter wants to know why her boyfriend doesn't love her anymore.  When you run into a co-worker in the hall on their first day back after losing their Dad.  We find ourselves looking them in the eyes, feeling a measure of their pain in our heart, and having no idea what to say.

Sometimes the search for words comes when we are praying.  What can we say to God about our problems?   How can we describe what we are feeling?  We search our hearts for the right words to tell Him what we are thinking. . . .but all that comes out is tears.  There is no way to put our feelings into words to pray and we sit there overwhelmed by our circumstances and needing our Father so very much.   We feel helpless, but our intercessor is about to step in.

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray , but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."  Romans 8:26
Does is reassure you that even the Holy Spirit doesn't use words to let God know what is in our heart?   Our pain, our fears, our loneliness--even the Spirit of God doesn't have the words for what is weighing on us!  Just imagine, if you can, the Holy Spirit groaning with the weight of what He carries to the Father on our behalf.  We are assured that God hears us because "He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will" (vs. 27) 

Did you get that??  God knows the mind of the Spirit--they are entwined in the Trinity relationship--and the Spirit intercedes for us as a part of this intimate relationship.  No words are needed.   The very aching of our soul is expressed to God in a way that is beyond words. 

It's time to admit we don't have all the answers to the questions that start with "Why".  It's time to take our cue from the Holy Spirit and quit trying to find the right words to comfort those around us who are in pain.  It's time to hug them and hold them and listen to them and cry with them and know the Spirit is expressing the groans of their souls to the source of mercy and peace.


  1. Amen! So often words just aren't enough. Needed this today. Thank you, Sandi.
    Beth A. (OBS Leader)

  2. Great post. You are right. Sometimes words are not enough and sometimes the greatest comfort you can give someone is just holding their hand and sitting in silence. We can go that with God too since we are assured that He knows our ever thought, hurt and need, even before we do!

  3. Love this! You are so right that times come in our life when we just don't know what words to say and we want to express our inner most feelings and just can't. Thank God that He is always there and knows our heart! May He always give us the peace that comes with knowing that He is there and He knows and He will show us the way in whatever situation. It may not be easy, it may be as the previous comment said- just sitting and holding their hand. It may be a calm and reassurance in our heart that He's there with us every step of the way. Whatever it is, it is such a comfort!!

  4. Thanks for sharing we don't need the answer to the "why", we just need to allow the Holy Spirit to intercede for us and those we are praying for. I remember a long time ago the first time I sat with someone whose husband was dying, and how we would spend time with them but felt so inadequate in the situation and relied heavily on the strength of God to hold us during the visits. Soon after he passed away the wife said thanks for all you did and I said we didn't do much, her reply I will always remember, yes you did,you were there with us, no words were needed. Just sitting listening, crying . holding was all that was required. Loved the reminder.

  5. I love this post! Sometimes it is not our words that heal, but His strength shared through us. Thank you for sharing.