Comfort

Somehow comfort seems so inadequate when offered in human terms.

©podpad freedigitalphotos.net

©podpad freedigitalphotos.net

As I wrote in my prayer journal Thursday morning and lifted friends in prayer, the number of people hurting from grief began to overwhelm me.

One mourns the death of her son six years ago from depression and suicide; one mourns the death several months ago of an adult daughter from a car accident; another mourns the death just a month ago of a preteen daughter from cancer; yet another is freshly mourning the death of the premature birth of his infant son just a week ago, alive for only 58 minutes.

I do not pretend to know God’s purpose in any of this. I know I cannot comfort these friends with words or Scripture or the assurance that God stands beside them and weeps with them even now.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who is compassionate and the God who gives comfort. He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

All I know for certain is that God has comforted me in times of deep grief. I chose not to ask the “why” question. Somehow, I knew I would not receive an answer. I simply continued to pray. I handed over my grief and anger and disappointment. I lifted my fists and my tears and my exhaustion. I allowed my Father to hold me and rock me and comfort me. I let Him deal with the emotion and the doubt because I trusted He was powerful enough to handle it all when I wasn’t.

Eventually, the heart-wrenching soul-quivering, coldness began to fill again with flowing, living water. I allowed it to seep in as much as I could swallow at a time. And before I realized it, I was immersed again. I had enough for me. I had enough to give away.

My heart aches for the hurt and pain you feel. I wish so much for you to feel real peace and joy again. In the meantime, the in between time, the desert time, I pray you are grateful for the manna.

To these sweet friends – Dale, Tom & Carolyn, Mark & Robin, Jason & Karryn – and to anyone else feeling grief stricken, and because my comfort is not enough, I offer comfort from Jesus. For now.

As Jesus told his disciples, “You will weep and mourn over me…you have grief now; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice and no one will take your joy away from you.” (John 16:22)

19 comments

  1. Beautiful devotion Susan. May He hold those who mourn and those who hold them in their hearts, as tenderly as your words here. Bless you. ❤

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    1. Hey, sweet friend. Thank you for your prayer.

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  2. Susan, I realized all the truths in your post when we lost Boone. While I welcomed all the condolences, I knew that not a single one would be sufficient. I think that is why I asked people to send verses.

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    1. Love you, Jason. I pray these verses helped just a little.

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  3. When I read this tender post of yours the other day Susan I had to stop and thank God for the obedient ones and the ones who’s hearts are in tune with the Holy Spirit of God. These are the ones who feel and see what God see’s and feels. Though we have pain we are abel to comfort others that have pain and loss as well. What a blessing to be abel to put into action and be sensitive to others and bring comfort to them when they mourn and hurt. Without your sensitivity and others like you and your obedience . Where would others find comfort? When they mourn ,mourn with them. When they hurt,hurt with them. This comes at a needed time for us. Two day’s ago I am sorry to say. The uncle who carried my daughter Kelly’s casket died in a truck accident . Death always comes in such a untimely way it seems. It reminds me who and what I am. How fragile I am. How precious these days are. I am forced to look at the opportunities around me to love and reach the lost and dying world and to comfort those that mourn and are in pain. What a precious heart you have my dear sister. I so appreciate you sharing your heart and remembering those that have lost.

    Much Love to you
    May God make his face to shine upon you

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    1. Oh, Tom, what can I say, except I’m so, so sorry for another loss in your family.My prayer is that Kelly rushed to meet him with arms held wide.
      Hugs and love and tears and prayers to you and Carolyn.

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      1. Thank you Susan. Bless you my friend

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  4. “I chose not to ask the “why” question…I allowed my Father to hold me and rock me and comfort me. I let Him deal with the emotion and the doubt because I trusted He was powerful enough to handle it all when I wasn’t.” Awesome words, Susan. Amen and amen! This is SO important, knowing that while terrible and heart-wrenching things can happen in this world, Jesus promised us to overcome them in Him (John 16:33). As you said, when we stop asking “why” and let our good and loving Father embrace our heart, we find healing and strength. And that same strength will be used through us to help others to navigate similar tragedies. We may experience pain and loss but we are never alone. Blessings.

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    1. Thanks, Mel. I came to the conclusion long ago – at least for me – that I wouldn’t know many of the “whys” in this lifetime. He made it clear He wanted me to trust in Him: in His love, compassion, grace and truth that His thoughts and ways are, indeed, on a higher plane than mine. I’m not always there, but when I’m not, I know I need to get there. (“Help me in my doubt.”)

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  5. This is beautiful Susan; knowing that I’ll see my loved ones again gives me great comfort. Bless you 🙂

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    1. We will see them and be surrounded by the joy and peace of our Savior. I’m certain of it, Lori.

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  6. Beautiful, sweet sweet words.

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    1. Thank you, Lilka.

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  7. An excellent reminder for all of us and exactly true! Matthew 11:28
    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

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    1. Yes, thankfully, we can continue to come to him over and over. He loves and comforts with no judgment – just compassionate hands.

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  8. Oh Susan. I have been reading about His comfort this week. What an interesting coincidence that you write about it so poignantly here. I cannot even imagine the grief you describe. That is a lot for you to absorb and of course, you receive your strength from Him, so you can comfort others. I often reflect on what the disciples must have felt when Christ was crucified. Unimaginable, and the words you quoted from John do really help. How good of you to share solace with these souls in need.

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    1. And there’s one I neglected to mention – another friend, Tricia, who lost her son to suicide about five years ago.

      All of us experience and carry grief differently. I think I feel it at different times. When someone I know receives an unexpected blow, it takes me back to my own. It’s so vivid, and so difficult when it happens, and mine occurred before I walked into the arms of God. Now, I have Him for comfort always.

      These are all heartbreaks I cannot fathom, but I know the pain is deep. I just felt the need to express my heart about it today.

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