Wednesday, July 20, 2016

An Odd Comfort

I sit here with a heavy heart.

A tired heart.

People I love are hurting.
I am hurting.

Life is hard.  And sometimes, truthfully, it only gets harder.

There is a hope that rises within me to meet the hard things head on.

Jesus Christ is the hope of glory.  He is within me. (Col.1:27)

Now more than ever this realization has become my reality.

When I rise....He alone is my hope.
When I sleep....He alone is my hope.

No unknown can shake it.
No diagnosis can take it.
No situation can diminish it.

The word.
The thought.
The possibility brings comfort.

There is a passage that has tendered my heart recently.

I don't know about you but when hurt and heartache seem to loom over me...I want to somehow make myself stop feeling any of it.  I want to be calloused to it.

This word in 2 Corinthians gives us no such permission.

We must feel the hurt to receive a heavenly comfort.

"All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.  So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you.  Then  you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.  We are confident that as you share in suffering, you will also share in God's comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

This passage does not sugar coat the reality of suffering.

Troubles will come.
Suffering is a by product of life on this earth.

But there is a double return.

I know.  I wish there was no pain.  I wish there was no suffering.
But we messed that up a long time ago.
That was God's original plan as well.
Now we need mercy....

And he made a way.

Comfort will come.

God. Will. Comfort.

He uses His Holy Spirit.
He uses His Word. Music. Prayer. Rest. Nature. Food.

But I have been blown away by people. 

Here is that double return part.

In addition to a holy God comforting me, He sends others to comfort me as well.

People comfort me.

People that have suffered and hurt somehow dig down into the reservoir of Hope that dwells within them and they offer it to me.

This is the cycle.

Odd isn't it?

Pain produces comfort.

Comfort comes from pain.

Only God.

He created a world free of sin.
We sinned anyway.

He provided a way to heaven at the cost of His One and Only Son, Jesus.

His pain.....brought our comfort.
His loss....our gain.

This scripture speaks to the fruitfulness of pain.

Certain circumstances almost kill us.
Life can change in a moment and leave us reeling....

We think we might never be the same again.

Once I can get past my selfishness and think clearly, it helps me so much to know that any pain I endure CAN bring fruit.

Those people that have endured heartache become so tender to others enduring the same.

And then there we are....people helping other people.
Giving the very same comfort that they once received.

Can you imagine God the Father watching His children comfort each other?

His ways are truly wonderful.
His ways are truly odd.

2 people coming together with suffering and pain and offering each other a comfort that surpasses all understanding.

This is God's way.

"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." 1 Corinthians 15:58