I have a dear friend who is going through hard times. They have been difficult for, literally, years. She knows and loves God, and these challenges are deepening and strengthening her, but the bottom keeps falling out of the little pieces of hope that come up.
I am baffled at what God's purposes might be in such a prolonged time of discouragement and difficulty. Every once in a while, I realize that I can't know what God's purposes are (though we are often blessed by glimpses of how all things work for the good for those who love God). I would probably not appreciate His purposes if I knew them.
But what I want is to be able to comfort and encourage my friend. I grasp at earthly encouragements -- things have to turn around soon, thank God your children are so wonderful, I'm with you if you need me -- when it is the Holy Spirit's encouragements that will truly strengthen her. He is the Comforter, the Consoler, the One in whom is all God's love and care, and who lives inside her, never to leave.
Oh God, help me say the things that will help her to see your face, not just my good will and friendship. Less of me, more of You.