Being a Christian does not mean I will get a free pass out of troubles. Like anyone, I am concerned for the welfare of my loved ones during this upcoming flu season. Things could get really tough in the months ahead. I don’t want to think of anyone I love suffering. I want to put a big bubble around my church family and my relatives, alike. But I can’t do that. What I can do is trust that God is the God of all comfort and will faithfully to see me through any troubles that He allows into my life, even if death is the end result. In a sense, He has put a more perfect bubble around us—the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Christ, through which Jesus pours out love and comfort to us. Chasing after Christ, finding Him, abiding in Him, is our best preparation for the days ahead, however hard they may be.
“3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” 2Corinthians
When I wrote my last post and quoted the Psalmist’s words about pouring our complaints out to God, I had no idea I would be doing that very thing later in the day. I received news that a dear mother with young children is dying. I couldn’t stand it. So I prayed, begged for the Lord’s mercy, begged again, cried, told Him how the children needed her, begged more, told Him I would chase after Him just like the woman in the crowd did when He was here on earth, implored again, still cried, and refused to leave His presence. Towards the end of that time, I felt a response in the form of a question. “Are [angels] not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14 There were other words of comfort that I heard but this one was very reassuring. Our Father is close to the brokenhearted and has many angels He dispatches to serve His children who are dying, lonely, and in all sorts of perils. I have no doubt there are angels near her this very moment. She is safe in her Father’s loving care. So are we.
Have you ever had your mind reformatted? That’s what I feel has happened to me in regards to prayer. It’s been a grace to me from the Lord. I’ve spent about a month researching and testing the passage in I Corinthians 11 about headcovering. I think what happened to me during that month had to do with a preparation in my heart to “not be transformed anymore to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I was willing to give up preconceived ideas about prayer. At the end of the month I was surprised to find that I had an almost empty slate in my head when it can to prayer. So one day, during my usual prayer time, with the kids resting and reading in their own rooms, I locked my door and turned to the Lord with an open heart. It was one of the most refreshing experiences in prayer that I ever had. Rather than kneeling (which always make my legs fall asleep) I sat lady-like fashion on the ground, turned my head upward, and began talking, with my eyes open, to my Heavenly Father. For me it was a really special time. This passage in the Psalms reminds me of how real we can be, how intimate we can be, in prayer. In all sorts of areas, it is a blessing to have a fresh view of the things we so often do. I pray my Father will continue to do this for me whenever I need it.
1With my voice I cry out to the LORD;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
2I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him. Psalm 142