2 Corinthians 1:1-7;Psalm 34:2-9; Matthew 5:1-12
“Blessed be … the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement.” (2 Corinthians 1:3)
Have you ever noticed the distress of a little child who has fallen down and scraped his knee? The tears come almost immediately, along with cries of fear and pain. Sometimes the child will stay hunched over the wound, immobile, until his mom or dad carries him away. Yet when the child gets into those big comforting arms, the tears usually disappear. Even though the scraped knee is still painful and bleeding, the knowledge of being loved and held close makes the pain easier to tolerate.
Today, let’s focus on that precious moment between the pain of the scraped knee and resting in those comforting arms.
A recent study in Great Britain concluded that its citizens generally suffer more than 9,600 ailments over the course of a 78-year life span. And that’s not counting emotional or spiritual suffering.
Now, there’s no indication that the British are more prone to illness than any other group of people. So it’s safe to assume that sickness and pain are a regular part of human life! The question becomes, then, how do we deal with suffering when it comes our way?
Of course, our suffering is often much worse than just a scraped knee. Sometimes it brings us to our knees, breathless and begging for release. It’s in these times that we need to remember to yield, to lean back into our Father’s arms and let him comfort us. This isn’t always easy. For some reason, hardship tends to make us collapse in on ourselves rather than reach out for help. But it’s vital that we learn this skill. It’s vital that we become humble enough to let our heavenly Father pick us up and draw us into his warm embrace.
Today’s psalm response gives us a similar lesson: “Look to God, that you may be radiant with joy” (Psalm 34:6). Radiant with joy? It’s so hard to rejoice when you’re in anguish! But this is our challenge: Look to the Lord! Let him carry you. Let him comfort you. If you do, you’ll actually find joy in the fact that his arms are lifting you up and calming your soul.
“Father, help me to remember to call out to you. Thank you for promising always to comfort me and be with me!”~WAU