Genesis 1:1,31a – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth … God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (NIV)
Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (NIV)
When two people say "I do" in church, something miraculous happens. They spiritually merge into one flesh. Way back when we were married, we had no clue what that simple declaration would do inside our souls and throughout our lives. On our honeymoon, we revelled in each other's nearness. We had so much to learn, even after years of courtship. After all, no one really knows the person they marry until after they say "I do".
Years flew by, and our son entered our lives, a joy that quickly challenged us when the doctor told us that he had cerebral palsy. Nevertheless, our son proved to be a blessing in so many loving ways, in spite of his disabilities, or maybe because of them. Four years later, our beautiful daughter was born. Today, she is married to a good man, and her two daughters have grown to be lovely women. Not quite two years later, a second daughter joined us. Cute as a button from birth, today she's married and the mother of a grown son, and a daughter who added her own two daughters to our family.
Sadly, my dear husband missed so much when he died young. For me, his death felt like a gigantic hand had reached inside me and pulled half of me away. My soul shed tears through my eyes. My heart lurched as if torn in two. Thirty years later, my heart still misses him … but then, in my heartache, I turned to God in prayer and God comforted me … yes, God comforted me.
For me, God isn't a far-off, uncaring deity floating up in a galaxy far, far away. I believe that He gives us everything that we hold dear: children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as homes to live in, cars to drive, and work to do. For me, He affirms His presence in unexpected ways through a son or daughter's phone call or visit, or even an unexpected gift.
For example, last winter, my daughter sent twenty-four long-stemmed red roses totally out of the blue. I see her generosity as tangible evidence of God's being with me. Although some may believe that random acts of kindness are just other people acting on impulse, if we choose to believe that God shows His presence through the actions of others, we will be greatly comforted.
It's a matter of perspective.
From life's experiences, I've seen that grief has its way, but God's Holy Spirit always comforts, especially in unexpected ways. That's why I can say that I'm comforted by God's presence.
So, when our hearts hurt, let's go to God for comfort. We may ask, "How?" Through prayer, we can be comforted. I know from experiencing God's presence through unexpected and unasked-for gifts, He will be with us. Even when we don't immediately feel any different … He is with us.
When we go to God in prayer, His Spirit will comfort us.
Prayer: Lord God, help us to see and feel Your love in every circumstance, whether good or bad. We pray for awareness of Your Spirit with us. Help us to know without a shadow of doubt that Your comfort and Your presence will always be with us, no matter what occurs. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Like A River Glorious" (Lyrics)