28th March 2012

God Who Comforts The Downcast

“…I will never leave nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)

After the feeding of the five thousand Jesus dispatched the disciples off to cross the Sea of Galilee on their own while he sent the crowds home and stayed back to pray. Out on the water the wind rose and stirred up a heavy sea that pounded the disciples’ boat. The word Matthew uses to describe their battering is also used to describe child birth, suffering painful illness, and even the torments of hell, which perhaps gives us more of an insight into the disciples’ plight out in the darkness and far from land. (Revelation 12:2, Matthew 8:6, Revelation 20:10) Then towards dawn Jesus is there, coming to them, walking on the water and stilling the storm. (Matthew 14:22–32) 

But where is Jesus now when we are tossed about in a raging storm?  The last anyone saw of him was at his ascension. After the death of my husband, when the funeral was over, when my family had left, when all the busyness of the first weeks was gone and I was alone in the house, the loss took hold of me and one morning I was in great distress.  Jesus said he would never leave or forsake us, but much as I would like him to, I knew he wasn’t going to be knocking on my door to help me. Instead, about midday, it was a delivery man who knocked and, taking care not to look too closely at me, left me a cardboard box which contained a large bouquet of flowers with no note to say who had sent them. A little while later the phone rang: “I’ve been feeling compelled to call to you all morning; the thought just won’t go away that I must phone,” said my caller. 

Paul knew the effect of God’s well-timed hand of love.  In 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 (RSV) we read, “‘In Macedonia,’ he told the Corinthians, ‘we were afflicted at every turn–fighting without and fear within.  But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.’” Jesus no longer walks on earth, but in our seas of Galilee, when in the darkness the wind and waves rage against us, he still comes to us—but now he comes in and through the love and care of his Body here on earth, those who hear the voice of his Spirit. 

Let us thank our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting comfort and hope which we don’t deserve,  and has comforted our hearts with all comfort, and helped us in every good thing we say and do. (Ref: II Thessalonians 2:16-17 LB)

Study by Hilary Buck

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One Response to “28th March 2012”

  1. Ian Woodley on March 31st, 2012 9:51 am

    Thank you Hilary for your very personal story of how God was showing you love in the midst of your own grief. This was very encouraging to read – thank you so much for sharing this with us all.
    Kind Regards

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