Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 -- On Comfort vs Bubble Wrap

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

This was important to me as I read today, I think because it reminds me that comfort is part of the package.  John 14:18 tells us that God will never leave us comfortless, but sometimes we feel that way.  Tribulation and suffering are obvious, but we don't see the comfort that is also there.  It's just like when we are little kids.  Our parents sometimes wish they could wrap us in bubble wrap, but we have to grow and learn and explore.  Sometimes we hurt ourselves... get a skinned knee, or burn our fingers, or worse.  And the pain surprises us, and terrifies us.  Suddenly our fun, safe world that we are learning about and getting to know turns scary.  Our parents are there to help us learn to understand and deal with the consequences, and to learn to balance the fear with continued joy.
God doesn't want us to hurt any more than our earthly parents do... and although I am sure that he is one of the few parents who could actually act on the desire to protect us all from harm, he also knows that bubble wrap isn't the answer.  We need to learn, and grow, and often that means tribulation and suffering.  ... But it is good to remember that it *also* includes comfort.  God loves us, and even though he knows we might get hurt trying new things, or making mistakes, he will always be there to put his arms around us and remind us that things will be alright.  And as we stick with him and look to him, eventually, they always will be.  Today, as we go through our less-than-peaceful lives, let's remember that we can turn to the Lord for reassurance, comfort, and strength whenever we feel our own strength failing.  And let's remember to share that comfort and reassurance with others as well.

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