The Glow: A Story and Encouragement for You in Hard Times

Phyllis Nissila

Here is a story that, I hope, comforts you who may be in the midst of trauma or sorrow right now. It’s about the constant and sufficient love of God that works its way gently and powerfully from the inside of His children to the outside, as we daily yield to His great and tender care. Sometimes, we are surprised at its outward manifestation…


She hadn’t seen her friend in several months and she’d come for a short visit. In the interim, her friend had suffered a sudden, severe blow to her long-term marriage as well as the death of her mother after an accident, surgery, and three near-death events prior to her actual passing. During the same period of time, the friend had also walked with her sister through the post-trauma of an assault in her high-risk work site that had nearly cost her her life. Meanwhile, the normal cares and concerns of daily life and work continued…

As the visitor scanned the faces of airport greeters looking for her friend’s familiar face, she didn’t know how she would find her. Thin? Drawn? Countenance etched with the multiple tensions of recent months?

The crowd dispersed and she spotted her friend. She paused.

“I almost didn’t recognize you,” she told her friend later. “I didn’t know what to expect, but you looked…so good…hard to explain. A freedom, strength… calmness. You had an air of, I don’t know, confidence and peace. There was a, well, kind of glow about you.”

In the following days the two talked, cried, prayed, and marveled over the recent, extraordinary months. And together they came, at length, to this faith-nurturing truth: simply and profoundly, there could be no other explanation about such an unexpected change of one’s “aspect” amid such bad news: it was to the glory of the quiet, steadfast love of God emerging from an ordinary believer’s daily walk with God Who “holds each of us in the palm of His hand” while we make our way as best we can through this fragile life.  What had—has and will be—working its quiet power in the hidden places of one believer’s heart manifested, at length, outwardly. Perhaps even, surprisingly, in that mysterious ”glow”…


stock-photo-12497399-jesus-reaching-outIf you, too, gentle reader, are in the midst of some sorrow, or seemingly endless struggle, I invite you to immerse yourself in what God has planned—and has in store—for you. Open your heart and open His Word and see what encouragement and strength awaits. Fellowship with those of like mind and heart. Trust Him.

Even as in the dark of the womb He “knit together your inward parts” until the appointed time of your birth, He will strengthen and nurture your spirit today and in the days to come and enable you to handle with strength what odds you, too, now face or may face.

May I suggest you begin with the following, from the pen of another who also sorrowed, turned to God, and emerged, at length, restored; who also experienced heartaches some of which were thrust upon him, others in which he played a part:

Psalms 23:5-6
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalms 26:2-3
2 Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; 3 for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.

Psalms 31:7
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.

Psalms 31:16
16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

Psalms 33:5
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Psalms 36:5
5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Psalms 59:16
16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalms 63:3
3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

Psalms 66:20
20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Psalms 86:5
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Psalms 86:15
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalms 89:14
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.

Psalms 100:5
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalms 103:9-12
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalms 115:1
1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

Psalms 147:11
11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. [1]


[1] New International Version

Image from the public domain. 

This entry was posted in Commentaries, Devotionals, encouragement in hard times, most recent posts, spiritual survival, spiritual transformation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Glow: A Story and Encouragement for You in Hard Times

  1. just1ofhis says:

    Oh Phyllis,
    How wonderfully timely!
    A relation of mine is passing away very suddenly from cancer, something which has caught everyone in my family by surprise. I will be sharing these words with her closest caregivers, and I know that they will bring comfort to them all!
    God bless your heart, and thank you for continuing to be such a wonderful encouragement to me.


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