Todays Reading : 2 Corinthians 1:3
Life is hard. There are many times throughout the week, I question how will this all turn out. The highs and lows of life can be daunting and exasperating. This is during a “normal” week. Then you factor in new variables and this can become overwhelming. The Holy Spirit then whispers “there is Comfort in the Chaos”. One of the main misconceptions about being Christians is that life would be without hurt and suffering once you follow Christ. But the truth is you are more aware of the suffering and the trials that you face, but being in a relationship with Christ the suffering allows the Holy Spirit to bring you comfort and peace that is not understandable by others.
2 Corinthians 1: 3- 7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.[a] 6 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. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
Despite all of the sufferings that we are go through, Paul informs us that we will be comforted and in this sorrow and suffering we will be given the knowledge and fortitude to help those who may suffer as we have. Over the years, I have been blessed with several spiritual mentors and prayer warriors that give me encouragement and guidance through some of my most troubling times. One of these special people always have referenced the above mentioned verse.
During one of the most difficult times in my adult life, this scripture was recited to me and I was not ready to hear it. I was just laid off from a position. My children were in the midst of new health issues. My spirit was very low and my cup was completely empty. I needed something uplifting and comforting. Then my mentor states “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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.” This was not the response I was looking for. I was not looking to comfort others in the future I needed comfort then. But as I mediated and prayed this verse over and over, it became clear that God was in the midst of the storm and crisis.
God allowed my mentor to give me this piece of wisdom and knowledge. That time of my life is pivotal in my relationship with God, my family, others and myself. It was turning point that has continued to shape me who I am today. This allowed me to step outside of myself and actually see God for all that He is and His place in my life. Before these changes in my life I started to search for a strong bond with him and seek a more profound life for him. He was able to gently shape me into the person that I am today through the suffering that experienced. When we are intentional about the relationship that we want with God, He will open up His presence and comfort to be available to us. Because of the trial and detours on my journey I have been given the opportunity to help others in their afflictions.
In our current crisis, a couple of lessons I learned about the comforter is:
I can now fully understand the needs and desperation of others in the time of need. The ability to provide for yourself and family is a true sense of being. God allowed me to see that He is the source of all of the things that I need and want. When one faucet is turned off, He will allow another to open with more flow. No matter the outlet, the source will not be hindered.
God has the final say on the health of our loved ones and us. No matter what we try to do to mitigate the possibilities of life, life will happen. We can attempt to workout more or eat better, but the end result is the same. But the consolidation is that even in the midst of the most strenuous of circumstances God will use the situation for his glory. There have been countless times that I question why the health of my children is not solid, but God reveals the warmth and compassion that the children can impart on other health care workers. This is way that God can show through them. I cannot hinder their blessings.
In the midst of life the only thing that is guaranteed is uncertainty. With this uncertainty we are given the privilege to know God and have access to his unlimited comfort and love. Now when there is uncertainty I pray that God will reveal himself so that I may understand His will.
As we navigate this journey that we are on, allow us to see you and experience your comfort in the midst of storms, conflicts, and crisis. Allow us to hear you as a whisper in the storm. Amen