2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NRSV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.
The LORD says, "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you."
-- Isaiah 66:13 (NIV)
THREE years ago, my mother became terminally ill. Our relationship became more precious when she was in hospice care. On weekends, I traveled from my home 200 miles away to help care for my mother. It became an extraordinary journey.
When I said goodbye to my mother for the last time, she told me that she loved me and that God loved me. My mother's words of faith led me to the Bible. Now, reading Jesus' teachings about mourning and comfort awakens memories of her.
My mother always comforted me in times of distress. After she died, I reached a point of such despair that I cried aloud, asking, "Who will comfort me?" A short time later, there was a knock at my door. To my surprise, it was my childhood pastor coming to see me. He talked with me, told funny stories about my mother, and prayed with me.
Since then, through scripture study and that memory, I have come to see that we are never alone. God comes to us in well-timed visits, phone calls, cards, kind words, and expressions of sympathy. God comes to us, even though we may not realize it until much later.
Prayer: Comforting God, thank you for being with us all the time. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Watch and listen for God's unexpected comfort.
Those who mourn
By Diane L. Cordell, New Jersey