Where does your comfort come from? A soft, fuzzy pillow? A teddy bear who is always ready to listen to your troubles? A shoulder you know you can’t count on to cry on from time to time? A familiar listening ear? Or even from God Himself?
He is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction.” That’s a tall order, but a necessary one. We are in need of a Comforter, and weal in our time of affliction. And who else is there? Who else can comfort us?
When I was a child, I needed someone who was stronger than I was, like my parents, who would be comforters. I could run to my mother or my father in the middle of a thunderstorm and weep in their arms, knowing there I would be safe.
As adults, we find we have the same needs for such comfort when the storms of life are too big for us. But to whom shall we turn? Whose arms do we run to when we are the ones who are supposed to have it all together? May I suggest the Comforter, the One who made us, Who calls us His own. His arms, though we often can’t see them, call upon our eyes of faith to feel. Do you trust in the Lord God to help you through and comfort you when you scared?
As an adult, we are not so much scared of the storms, but the catastrophes, both personal and public. We are scared of the hurricanes and tornadoes, the wildfires and the pandemics. We ought to have some fear of them, as such fear inspires caution and taking measures to protect ourselves. But what about personal illnesses, creeping cancers and major organ failure, when you can see the monster coming for you with the face of tumors and anuerysms? We still need a Comforter, and arms that can enfold us, and tell us its going to be okay. I still need that. I still cling in faith to the God who raised His Son from the dead. I still trust in His promises He made for me. But I fear those times especially when my faith will be tested. I know times will come when I question God and ask why He would put me through such things. I’ve done it before. And when the test was over was when I realized with relief that it was all done to strengthen me, improve my faith, and help me forward to the next test.
When I am confronted by someone who questions God, all I do is ask if God has been faithful before. Has God answered your prayers in the past? Has He blessed me when you weren’t looking? Inevitably, the answer is yes. Even in the darkest times and hardest situations, God’s light has always found a way to shine through. Then I ask if God has stopped being faithful, stopped loving, stopped hearing prayer. So too here the answer must give way to grudging acknowledgment. Even in my dark times, God has been working behind the scenes to bring about His glory and show His love to me.
So today, as you are going through the test, remember what God has done for you. It was not accidentally that when Israel was going through hard times, God reminded them of the Exodus, of bringing them through the Red Sea and their time at the Mountain, or the bread in the desert. He reminds them of their past for the sake of their present. He will remind you too.
God, You have been so kind to me, especially when I didn’t deserve it. I called on You and I thought You weren’t listening. I called to You and You didn’t seem to answer. I was angry at You. I hated You because I thought You loved me and You turned Your back to me. I thought I was Your child, and You were silent. Thank You for being so patient with me, because I discovered at the end of my trial, You were right there all along. I cannot know all the things You shielded me from, and the disaster I could experienced, because You do love me. I repent and apologize for all the mean things I said and did, because in my human frailty, I couldn’t see the light, the care and compassion You have for me. I twisted and fought at the end of my rope because I could see the One who was pulling me in. Thank You God for loving me and granting me peace. In You Name I pray, Amen.