The God of Comfort and Compassion

“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.”  2nd Corinthians 1:3-4

I think it is so neat that God would allow me to write about Him….that He lets His children be His ambassadors..to talk about His heart and His wonders.  Mother Theresa said it like this: “I am a mere writing instrument in the Hand of God.”

Today my heart was so full of thanks once again for God’s Great Healing.  Emma moved off my sciatic nerve a few days ago and the pain has slowly subsided…today I woke up with no pain.  It is amazing to me to see once again that He can take me from barely being able to walk for 3 weeks, to having no pain the next.  This is the continued faith He’s been persistently building in me.  I was beginning to hope in Emma’s birth to relieve the pain once and for all, and He showed Himself faithful to heal in His way and His timing.

During the past few weeks, I have felt incredible nearness of the Lord…His presence and comfort and provision were overwhelming.  As I gain my strength back, I instantaneously feel the struggle to depend on Him like I have the past few weeks.  Why is it that my strength always competes for dependence on Him?  I long to live a life of total dependence on Him regardless of what my situation is….

In a beautiful quiet time He gave me just about a week ago, at the pinnacle of the pain, He told me THIS, which I have been longing to share with you:

“I am the God of Comfort and Compassion.  Rest in My Affirmation and Acceptance of you.  I don’t love you for what you do, but for who you Are, who I created you to be.  My Peace is always with you.”

“Sin is the Vandalism of Shalom.  Shalom is not just the absence of hostility or a sense of personal well-being, but the idea of everything being set right, everything being the way that I intended it to be, wholeness, perfect harmony, flourishing, set right within yourself with your relationship with others–perfect peace.  You will suffer in this world for your own sin, for the sin of others against you, and because you live in a fallen world.” 

He showed me that this pain was a “thorn in the flesh” for me for now.  Paul’s words echoed in my heart (2nd Corinthians Chapter 12), “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

As I felt the pressure to suffer perfectly– joyfully and obediently, God said to me:

“I bring comfort into your life, so that I can use you to become an agent of comfort, healing, and restoration in the lives of other people.  BUT, you must be honest about the reality of your own BROKENNESS, and not fall into the temptation of feeling like you have to have it all together.  Not only must you be honest about the reality of your own brokenness, but you must be willing to move into the lives of other broken people with it.”

Here is a beautiful story I read that day called “The Angel that Troubled the Waters:”

A physician who is troubled with an ailment comes to be healed at a pool of water and asks an angel if he may receive healing.  The angel responds, “Draw back physician. This moment is not for you.  This healing is not for you.”  The physician pleads in his brokenness, “it is no shame to boast to an angel of what I might yet do in loves’s service, were I but freed from this bondage.”  The angel replies, “without your wounds, where would your power be?  It is your very remorse that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men.  The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on Earth as can one human being, broken on the wheels of living.  In love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.”

This was especially beautiful to me.  Here is my brokenness and what God shared with me in the midst of it:

One particular day during this ordeal, as I went to the OB for an appointment to see if the doctor could move Emma off of my nerve, I could barely make it into the office.  He gave me an ultrasound appointment, another appointment to discuss the ultrasound, a prescription for pain medication and some more physical therapy exercises.  I was in much too much pain to move anything, so the physical therapy was out of the question at that point, so I put my hope for that day in the pain medication.  I went into the pharmacy on post to fill the prescription and they told me they no longer had it.  I hobbled back to the car in so much pain and disappointment…the tears flowed…the radio was on and He poured into me once again, through His Presence and songs, the exact sentiment of my heart at that moment and how much He loved me.  I replied to God, “I don’t need you to tell me again how much you love me…I KNOW you love me!!  I am rooted and grounded in your love now.”  He responded to me, “my dear child, I DELIGHT in telling you how much I love you over and over again.”

Something clicked in my heart.  The eyes of my heart began to see and understand.  My mind wandered to phases my two children were in at that moment, things they had said or done recently…Lewis had been trying so desperately to obey and was overwhelmed at times…and we would respond with encouragement and affirmation of our love for him to help him continue trying to obey.  Hannah had been telling me often “you don’t love me”…or “daddy doesn’t love me”…and daddy would come and look at Hannah and say, “I do love you.”  We would look at her to see if it clicked to help her come out of her sadness…but she replied instead, “no, daddy, you don’t love me.”  She was testing our love…. (she thankfully came out of this rut a few days later).

My heart rested knowing that it was ok that God was reassuring me of His love over and over again.  He does not delight in us testing Him or His love for us, because He has proven it once and for all through Jesus, HOWEVER, as we go through trials, and seek to obey, trusting in His love, He will pour into us, and DELIGHTS to pour into us…over and over again. 🙂  We need not refuse this continual comfort on the grounds that we should be certain of His love.  He delights in telling us often who we are to Him.

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