2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all 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 have received from God. (NIV)
Ginger and Joey were brothers, and much like human brothers, these two cats had their spats. Ginger is a quiet, unassuming creature, placid and amiable. Joey, on the other hand, was quite the opposite: loud and boisterous, a regular rabble-rouser, always looking for trouble. Unfortunately for Ginger, he was often the target of Joey's plots and plans.
Joey just loved to climb into a tree or to get on top of a shed or other low building and bide his time. I would see him perched aloft, waiting for his prey to pass by unwittingly. Poor Ginger would eventually do just that. Pounce! Joey would have him. If cats could laugh, Joey would have been hysterical over Ginger's reaction. Needless to say, after a while, Ginger did not appreciate Joey's antics with the same sense of humour. In fact, Joey's behaviour ended up robbing Ginger of much pleasure and confidence, as he developed a sense of paranoia. He became nervous and withdrawn, often refusing to go outside for days on end. His relationship with his brother also deteriorated quickly, as bad looks, hissing, and spitting became the norm, even when Joey sought to make up. He also kept quite close to the house whenever he did venture forth, and was always looking over his shoulder and up into trees and other high places. Gone were his hours of basking in the sun or jumping about, chasing flies and mosquitoes. Even his hair grew mangy, and he developed a sour expression.
Unfortunately for Joey, his antics went too far, one day, with the wrong prey. After Joey's demise, Ginger gradually began to change. It took quite some time, a number of years actually, but today, he is a happy, well-adjusted feline. He is still cautious when he is out and about, and never strays too far from home, but these are also benefits which, I am sure, have contributed to his very long life.
Often within our lives as people, we, too, encounter robbers. Most of us bear the scars of those who have hurt us in one way or another. Some of these wounds can be fairly superficial, while others can be deep and long-lasting. Such wounds can rob us of healthy relationships with others, as well as our own inner peace, confidence, and joy. When we choose to believe and embrace the words of Scripture, however, it is amazing the comfort and direction which is available to each and every one of us — no matter how much we have suffered or struggled with. God is our comfort. He is able, amidst it all, to guide and lead and direct, to touch and heal, and to restore that which has been stolen. With restoration also comes ministry, as in Christ we become vessels of comfort and healing to others.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are the great comforter and healer. Restore us this day, as we look to You in faith. Use us as vessels of Your healing to those in pain and sorrow. Bless us that we might comfort them as You have comforted us. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.