Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Today, I asked someone to share with me how God’s comfort showed up in their life after the death of their son. They told me that, in addition to the people of God and the promises found in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit would speak words of comfort and affirmation in their inner being. What God would say was, “I will be here through the trial. I will give you what you need. I will get you through.”
Earlier this year I found myself in a dark and brooding situation. I was with a family in their hospital room, hoping and praying for someone we loved to get free from the jaws of death. We were there all day, waiting and wondering what might happen. We were all doing our best to comfort ourselves and the others around us, but comfort was hard to come by. Death was on our minds like a cold blanket.
When I came back the next day I did a major “Stockton” family move. I brought tons of snacks. I did bring a few healthy snacks, but mostly I brought good-unhealthy-substantial snacks. I don’t know how much comfort those snacks brought to everyone else, but it sure helped me out. I am happy to be able to say this dearly loved individual made a full recovery and we are still rejoicing. I am also happy to say my family’s deep connection between snacks and comfort is alive and well in me. For when a Stockton goes down, the snacks come out.
What brings you comfort?
There are many things in this life that can bring us comfort. Some chicken noodle soup, a warm blanket, and the kind embrace of mother can bring much comfort. But the heartache and pain of life can be so overwhelming sometimes those simple comforts just can’t cut it. Some great news is that the Scriptures teach us that God loves to give His children comfort.
Many times people don’t see God as one who brings comfort. He seems to be better known for His judgment or disapproval. An Old Testament prophet named Isaiah spoke to the people of his day about what God was feeling toward them. They were being threatened by neighboring nations. They had many immoral and unreliable kings and leaders. Yet, in the midst of all that, God told Isaiah to comfort His people. He said, “Comfort, comfort my people, speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for…” But in another passage of the book of Isaiah there is a description of Jesus that I love, “A smoldering wick He will not put out, and a bruised reed He will not break.” God is gentle. God is considerate. God is kind. God is comforting.
So, if this Christmas season has you feeling more like a cold Frosty out in the snow, than a warm Chestnut cozy by the fire, please know that Jesus would love to bring you comfort. Jesus would say to your innermost being, ““I will be here through the trial, I will give you what you need, I will get you through.”
I hope that brings you comfort this day.
This Sunday, we will continue our abridged version of Advent as we look at some of the tidings of comfort and joy found in Scripture long before the first Christmas day.
Don’t forget our Christmas Eve service times are 10am, 4pm, 5:30pm. We are looking forward to that special day.