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Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 1’

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of 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 receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

We all have our comforts. I love soft things and warm things. Curling up in a fleece throw with a cuppa warms my body…and my soul. And right now, we could all use some comfort.

But, the cup of hot tea or coffee soon disappears or grows cold. The throw needs washing. Neither is lasting.

Paul talks of another comfort. God is comfort. He never promised His children would be comfortable, but that He would provide comfort. Jesus warned his disciples (and us) that in this world there would be trouble. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33  And wow. Is there ever trouble in the world!

Jesus tells us that even in the midst of trouble we can have peace. We can take heart. He’s got this. He not only knows what is happening but He knows what tomorrow will bring and is already preparing our hearts for it if we let Him. We can find comfort in that fact.

Paul agrees, but he doesn’t stop there. He tells the Corinthian Church, and us, to take that comfort and go comfort others. In this time of isolation, you’d think this modern “me society” would retreat even further into the world of “I”. But more and more we hear stories of people stepping out to help others, to be considerate and keep a safe distance from others, and to wear protective gear. To check on elderly neighbors, and to thank those who have essential jobs and risk exposure.  We are discovering creative ways to connect without touching. People are rediscovering that we need each other, and more than that, we need God.

Each day, as we become more and more isolated, let us not forget to receive comfort from God and then pass it on to others. Perhaps they will pass it on to another person and that person will feel encouraged to do the same. Soon, instead of anxiety and fear, there will be a blanket of peace cloaking our neighborhoods. A warmed cup of camaraderie to ooze the souls in our cities.

A comforting thought, isn’t it?

 

 

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Growing up, Mom draped comforters over the ends of our beds. It was an extra cover in case we got cold in the night. Weather in Texas can change in a heart beat. When we felt ill, she would wrap us in our comforter and place us on the couch so she could go about her housework and still keep a watchful eye onID-100112567 us. To this day, a comforter symbolizes love, healing, warmth, and security to me. I still keep one at the end of my bed.  And when I am ill, I still snatch it off my bed and migrate to the couch.

Being cozy and warm is like having arms wrapped around you. You feel cocooned in peace and sheltered from the harsh winds of the world. Prayer shawls can have that effect. They make you feel as if you are enveloped in God’s love. Even without my shawl, my prayer time with God often feels that way, no matter if I am praying for someone else or  if I am coming to Him on contrite knees asking forgiveness. I still feel His Holy Spirit hugging me. His presence surrounds me, protects me and loves on me.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,iwho comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

That is how Paul starts off his second letter to the Corinthian Christians. My brain spun around this verse like a loop-de-loop on a roller coaster. It wove in and out of the clauses in a spiral that didn’t end. If  I wrote that passage today, my editor would have sent it back with so many red marks all over it – over use of the same words, run-on sentences, etc.

Yet, Paul gives us a true golden nugget because his progression is logical. Giving comfort is a non-ending spiral.  Before we can comfort, we have to have been comforted.You cannot share an experience you have never had. And, because we have been comforted, we should now comfort others. Why? Because as Christians, our comforter is the Father of  mercies and God of all comfort. He designed it so that our response to His comfort would be to spread that comfort to others and lead them to Him.

Because I know my Lord forgives my iniquities, I can more easily forgive others. That opens me to being able to provide them comfort, and more importantly, showing them my Lord who is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.

Are your comfort-able to receive God’s mercy and love? Maybe you will feel called to wrap His love around someone else’s shoulders like a comforter this week? Or perhaps, you need to become more comfortable with the idea of allowing someone to wrap His comfort around you. Whichever scenario fits your situation, it’s okay. Grab your comforter, prayer shawl or blankie and snuggle in. Comfort awaits.

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