Do you need comfort from God? Is there somebody in your life who needs comfort?
I sure did.
Last fall, I was crumbling on the inside. I didn’t feel strong at all. I traveled every weekend, and in between, I flew to Florida to be with my dad who was very sick. One Sunday morning, Phil and I headed to the airport, for probably the ninth week in a row. I had flown home the night before from Virginia super late and I was tired on Sunday morning. But, I tried to think of one good thing to focus on because I was so discouraged and felt so empty, alone and weak. “Heroes coffee!” I decided I would get a cup when I got to the airport.
So, after we got through security, I smelled it — the fragrance of hope! Before we got a cup, Phil suggested we check the boarding gate. I reluctantly passed Heroes with him, feeling it was totally pointless to check the gate — this airline was always late and I had plenty of time. When we got to the gate though, there was a long line.
Phil said, “They’re boarding!” It was too early. I couldn’t believe it. We walked up to the gate agent who, with way too much perkiness, said, ” We are all here so we are leaving early! Isn’t that great?!”
No, that is not great, I thought. She said, “Come on, I will pre-board you now.” I turned to hug Phil and all I said — okay, whined — was “I didn’t get my coffee.” Not, “I love you” or “I’ll miss you” or “Thanks for driving me to the airport so early…!” No, I was all about the coffee!
The gate agent walked me to row 13, the middle seat. Ugh, I don’t like the middle seat. When I sat, the window passenger was already seated and was rustling through her bag. So, I turned and said hi, she said hi and we were done. I pulled out my bag and acted busy, got out my headphones and phone and got ready to put the buds in my ears. That was my way of saying, “Please don’t talk to me, I have not had coffee.”
The aisle passenger arrived. She turned to me and said hi, I said hi and we were done. These women had very low social needs and they were met and I was happy.
I put in my earbuds, but hadn’t even turned on a book or music so I could still hear. And I heard it. The dreaded words,”Are you Jennifer Rothschild?” All I could think was say no, say no! I did not want to be her that morning… I didn’t want to talk to anybody. But, of course, I pulled out my earbuds and said yes. Then I smelled it. The flight attendant handed me a steaming cup of Heroes coffee and said, “Your husband wanted you to have this.”
“It’s not the coffee,” I said, “It’s my dad. He is so sick and I am so scared and tired.” The window woman said, “Well, I don’t know if you are a Christian but I am going to pray.” And she did. It wasn’t a fancy, reverent high church kind of prayer. It was a full blown, charismatic, bring heaven down kind of prayer.
With the “Amen,” I felt strengthened.
I thanked the window woman and asked her her name. She told me where she was from and that she was a librarian. “I love books,” I said, “who is your favorite author?”
“C.S. Lewis,” she replied. Now, to me that is not just any name. That is the name of my very favorite author of all time! In fact, I have crush on him. Phil is okay with it because Lewis is dead.
But God used Lewis to pull me through a very dark time of depression and doubt. I began to shoot names of books to her. She had read them all. Then, I asked her about some books written about Lewis. She had read all the ones I listed. I was blown away. This was my geek twin!
I was no longer alone and I no longer felt weak and discouraged. I was with comforted people who comforted me with the comfort they had received from God. I got off that plane a stronger woman than I was when I walked on.
Comfort does that for us. It makes us strong. The word comfort comes from two Latin words meaning “with” and “strong.” In other words, comfort isn’t a green bean casserole or chicken and dumplings or a warm blanket. True comfort makes you strong and it doesn’t happen in isolation. It begins with being with the God of all comfort.
When we receive God’s comfort, we have comfort to give.
You may be in a place where you need God’s comfort. You need to be with God and made strong by Him. Sometimes we seek comfort in all the wrong places — food, drink, activity, status. None of those things give us strength. They don’t provide the companionship and strength our souls crave.
Ask God if He is the source of comfort for you. Ask Him to reveal where you go for comfort. Ask Him to pull you toward Him with cords of love and receive His very present help in times of trouble, and you will be strengthened.
And then, sister, you will be able to comfort others with the comfort you have received.
Let’s give a shout out to the ones who have been there to comfort us in our times of need. Tag a friend in the comments below with how they have comforted you, and thank the Lord for the blessing they are in your life.