Tag Archives: comfort

Never Alone

On the night He was betrayed, Jesus told His disciples many things but one that popped out to me this week was His simple statement in John 16:32: “Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” Jesus knew He was about to be betrayed by one of His first disciples and abandoned by all the rest within hours. He knew that as soon as He was taken into custody His boldest and most enthusiastic follower—Peter—would deny Him to a servant girl.

“Yet I am not alone,” he said. Not alone? Why? Because “the Father is with me.”

We love those verses where God says He will never leave us or forsake us (like Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5, 8; etc.). We feel encouraged when we hear Jesus promise that He will be with us always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). The only problem is that we don’t truly believe those verses. Not truly. We are discouragingly quick to develop spiritual amnesia and quickly forget the extravagant promises made to us.

The truth is, any time you feel abandoned, alone, companionless, deserted, estranged, forgotten, forsaken, isolated, left, lonely, lonesome, outcast, rejected, renounced, or withdrawn you have forgotten the reality that you are never alone. That feeling of loneliness is an illusion; a lie. You are not alone, for the Father is with you.

For many years I used to feel alone when I was surrounded by a crowd of people. I completely understand the feeling that no one understands you. I also know the loneliness that you feel, because no one, not even your closest friends (not even your spouse), truly understands you. And yet the desire to be understood is universal to all of us. People say things like “he just gets me” when we describe how we feel about our friends. But the truth is that no one truly understands us except for God. We know a God who knows us better and deeper than we will ever know ourselves.

For the first time in my life I do not feel alone because I’ve learned to turn to God for understanding, comfort, and companionship. He TRULY gets me! And only He will ever get me. He knows when I wake up and when I lie down. He knows my words before they are on my lips. He knows me. I can’t tell you how real this has become to me over the last few months. Leaving Alaska and the military, starting over at a new church, starting seminary. None of those people get me. They could never. The truth is, as long as God is here with me, those feelings of loneliness are an illusion. God promised to never leave me nor forsake me, He knows everything about me, and so I rest on His promise that I will always be understood and I will never be alone. I encourage you to look up for understanding and not to your left or right. You are not alone, for the Father is with you.

The God of All Comfort

There’s a song I heard a while back on the radio and I really liked it. So, a couple weeks ago, after getting an iTunes gift card for my birthday, I decided to buy it. It’s called Breakeven (Falling to Pieces) by The Script:

I’m not sure why, but I had never actually heard one of the lines until I bought it. Here is the first verse:

I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing
Just praying to a God that I don’t believe in
‘Cause I got time while she got freedom
‘Cause when a heart breaks no it don’t break even

It’s that second line that really caught my ear: “Just praying to a God that I don’t believe in…” Isn’t that very, very telling? Regardless of why the songwriter doesn’t believe in God, and regardless of his opinion of Christians specifically, he knows that God should be able to give him comfort during a time of heartbreak.

Every time I hear that line I think of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who 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.

God gives us comfort so we can comfort others; it shouldn’t stop with us. God guides us through our heartbreak so we can guide others through their heartbreaks. Today in class we talked about the Book of Job, specifically the theme of trusting God through suffering. One of my classmates shared that he and his wife had experienced five miscarriages. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must have been for them. Thankfully, God comforted them, He sustained them through their trials, and he eventually blessed them with two full-term children. Since then, they’ve been able to minister to numerous other couples when they go through miscarriages. God comforted them, and now they are sharing that comfort with other couples going through the same thing.

Here’s where it breaks down for me though:  far too often I’m more inclined to simply cover up any of my heartache. I’m afraid to be transparent about my struggles, so I simply miss out on the chance share my comforts. My classmate inspired me. Perhaps it’s time for us to start being more vulnerable about our pains, struggles, and trials. Perhaps it’s time to start being more open to other people. God will comfort us, but it’s up to us to comfort others and use that as an opportunity to share the source of that comfort:  Christ.

What Comfort Zone?

While visiting a brand new mall, in the new city we just moved to, in an unfamiliar state where we know no one—and in the midst of reflecting on the fact that within a six month period I’ve finished the last 28 hours of my bachelors, gotten out of the military, found out we’re having a baby girl, and am preparing to start seminaryI received this fortune cookie:

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I guess we’ve always got room to grow, eh?