Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
“They are historical moments in which a real God met real pain so we can answer the question, ‘Where is God when I hurt?’
“How does God react to dashed hopes? Read the story of Jairus. How does the Father feel about those who are ill? Stand with him at the pool of Bethesda. Do you long for God to speak to your lonely heart? Then listen as he speaks to the Emmaus-bound disciples. …
“He’s not doing it just for them. He’s doing it for me. He’s doing it for you. …
”The God who spoke still speaks. … The God who came still comes. He comes into our world. He comes into your world. He comes to do what you can’t.”
- Max Lucado, He Still Moves Stones
I know that a few weeks ago, I said this might only last until my presentation on 17 October. Since I quoted Max Lucado on Thursday and Friday, it means four days in a row, but that’s okay too. I pray that things get back to normal soon. God is faithful. We discussed that yesterday. God provides comfort, faithfully.
When we have pain, does it come to your mind that the pain Jesus felt on the cross might have been worse or that the pain Jesus felt on the cross was deservedly ours? Lucado’s first question hints at an answer. When we cry out, “Lord, it hurts so much! Can you make the pain go away?” does Jesus rub His hands and feet and feel our pain along with us?
Have you ever had dashed hopes? My testimony at the end of my comedy routine a week ago talks of my father’s dashed dream and losing roughly everything along the way before he recovered. That dashed hope set my life on a totally different trajectory, but it was all part of God’s plan.
Have you ever been lonely? Do you want to hear God speak to you? It is important to speak to God and to read the Bible so that when God speaks to you, you will recognize His Voice, but God does still speak, as Lucado asserts.
God is our comforter. When I think of my childhood and comfort, I think of my mother’s mother rubbing my tummy when I felt bad. But just as important as her touch were her words of comfort. While she was talking, the pain melted away. Can you imagine comfort without those words? I wrote about God’s Voice earlier this past week. Indeed, God speaks to us.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.