Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Comfort

 Comfort- What is it?  Living in America, our lives often seem to revolve around comfort.  When it is cold outside, we turn on a heater or start a fire.  When it is hot, we pump up the a.c.  When we get home we kick off our shoes and sit on our couch, which we chose somewhat because it proved comfortable to us.  We chose jeans, shoes, and other clothes that feel comfortable.  We chose friends who we are comfortable being ourselves with and who comfort us when we are troubled.  If we suffer from physical pain, we take pain relief.  I don't think that I could exhaust this list.

But what happens when we can't ease the discomfort in our lives?  Things come for which there seem to be no remedy.  We toss and turn and question, "Why?"  We get confused, we get angry and we feel abandoned and alone.  All of which, I would argue, are healthy and a part of discovering lasting comfort.  This comfort is one which will not change with the seasons, will not age or wear out like our couch and our clothing, will not wear off in a few hours like pain medicine, and understands us better than our closest friend. This comfort does not usually answer our whys or make sense of our heaviest burdens.  Rather it gives us peace and stillness to overcome in the midst of walking through them.

Through all of the things in my life that have made the least sense to me, I have questioned God.  And each time He has answered in inaudible ways.  When I lost my grandfather while I was a teenager, I asked if He was real, if He was "up there", if He cared.  Less than a year later I discovered that the God who I thought was far off, was actually very near.  He wanted to be the Father I never had, He wanted to walk with me and have a relationship with me.  I remember being blown away that being a Christian was so much more than knowing "about God" and I was comforted that it was about "knowing God" in a personal relationship. Knowing I could never be perfect for God, I was comforted that He had a solution for my sins, His own Beloved Son, who lived the life I never could.  God gave me a peace and a joy that I could've never imagined possible as I accepted Christ as my Savior.

This relationship with my faithful Father has carried me through many things.  When I lost most of my community to Hurricane Katrina, He was there.  When my husband worked two months straight of 12 hour days, 7 days a week, during hurricane relief, God was there.  I had no one else but Him.   

With the loss of Ashlynn, God proves once more that He is present and that He knows my pain, hears my cry, hurts alongside me, and gives me a peace that surpasses understanding.  How do I know such comfort?  

Just before Jesus left to be with the Father He comforted His disciples.  He acknowledge their sorrow and knew their confused hearts.  He promised that He would come back to them after preparing a place for them in His house.  And He promised to send a "Comforter" and not leave them as orphans.  The Holy Spirit came shortly after Jesus left.  This is an awesome mystery!  God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit teaches us and comforts us as we journey toward home.

I know comfort and peace through God's promises told to me through His Word.  I know it through the life of His Son told to me in the Bible.  I know it through the Spirit who opens my heart and who prays in my behalf when I am out of words to pray.

I am thankful for His faithfulness to me.  Even when the night seems long, He is there as I walk one step at a time trusting in Him.

I hope and pray that I could be a comfort and share this eternal Comfort because of how He has worked and continues to work in my life.  One of my fears is that I will forget when things are going great and that I will miss out on opportunities to love others with the love that He gives me.  May he keep my heart focused on Him and glorify Himself through me.



"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1 3-7

More verses about God's comfort

(Psalms 119:50 NIV) My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

(Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV) You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. {4} Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.


(Isaiah 54:10 NIV) Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

(Isaiah 57:18-19 NIV) I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, {19} creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near," says the LORD. "And I will heal them."

(Matthew 11:28-30 NIV) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

(John 14:26-27 NIV) But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. {27} Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

2 comments:

My Life as a Mom said...

Great post! I was just reading John 14 very early this morning about our Comforter. God is so good!

Lisa T said...

All the time!

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