God's Comfort For All

September 20, 2017
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

As a long-time pastoral care volunteer at the local Long Term Care Facility, I have had occasion to comfort residents who were having a tough time coping, either mentally, physically, or spiritually, which I have always done to the best of my ability.

With mostly elderly residents, there are a number of deaths every month. Some time ago, the person in charge of the activities for the facility felt that it would be a meaningful experience to have a memorial service to remember those who had passed on in recent months.

Members of the families of those to be remembered were invited, and also the residents who had shared either a room or a dining room table, or who had become good friends with those now departed from among them. I was asked if I would be interested in leading the service and giving a meditation. A member of the staff would talk about those whom we were remembering. I would then give the meditation. After that, there would be a short slide show of the residents whom we were there to remember. Family members would then be asked to lay a carnation in front of the picture of their loved one. I would finish the service with some closing words and the benediction.

I was very nervous and anxious. I did not know some of those whom we were to remember. They had not at all been involved in my activities. I did not know how the family members would react to a Christian service. After all, it seemed to me to be far more intimate than a funeral service.

I based my message on two passages;

Isaiah 40:1 – "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" says your God. (NKJV) and

Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. (GNT)

I emphasized the facts that God gives us comfort during these difficult times of adjustment and that Jesus invites all of us to come to Him and He will give us rest.

Afterwards, from one of the families, the wife, a son, a daughter, and their spouses came to thank me for those words, which, they said, gave them comfort and closure while struggling with the recent death of a husband and father. Right then and there, I knew that God's comfort had given them peace.

Are you struggling with the loss of a loved one? Are you having a hard time coping with whatever situation in which you find yourself? Be assured that God can and will give you comfort.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray that You will comfort all who are mourning or are having a hard time coping. We ask for Your blessing upon them. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very good. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you, Joel, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thank you so much.

    Hi Joel
    Thank you for Jesus’ words of assurance. Thank you for your service to the families that have lost a loved one. Thank you for being consistent in your writing.

    God may not call the qualified, but He qualifies whomever He calls!
    Thanks for following His lead,

    Thank you for your message.
    I have mother and sister in palliative care and have been ill myself.
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Joel, thank you again for sharing your experience at the long term care facility. I can see God is using you to bless many people who are hurting.
    Keep up the good work!

    Thank you for the comfort for today’s burdens.
    The music for today speaks about turning eyes upon Jesus every hour.
    Looking full on His wonderful face.
    That’s when the things of earth will grow dim. In the light of His glory and grace. Amen!
    Joel, God bless you!

    Amen Joel.
    When l was chaplain at two different nursing homes, l received a call from an extremely distraught supervisor at one if the homes. They had a memorial service planned for 2:30…it was already almost 2:00….and they suddenly realized that neither the family or the home had booked the pastor and as chaplain would l come in and do a service?! Ah. I did not know the person who had died either. Anyway, l threw on my clothes and grabbed my service book and dashed over. Somehow l did a service and indeed God is good, as so many people commented on how the service had spoken to them. At the time it was very, very nerve wracking but now it gives me a good laugh!

    Dear Joel Jongkind,
    Thank you for the work you do in bringing hope of salvation and comfort to those needing it.
    And thank you for sharing it with us.
    For the sake of Jesus’ who laid down his life for the assurance of all who would believe, we pray that we will be those who make his love and compassion known in all its riches.

    Dear Joel, Your devotional was very moving and comforting as well. I especially liked the verses that you selected.

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