Somehow comfort seems so inadequate when offered in human terms.
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)