Forty Days of Promises: Week 4
Focus of the week: The gift and roles of the Holy Spirit
God promises to comfort us
Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden. And her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of a melody. Isaiah 51:3
All promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Please read Mark 6:21-32
When I was thinking about today's post, I prayed, "Lord, please speak. Bring things to mind that show me who You are as the Comforter." Well, here is my brainstorming list, some of which my be heaven sent, but with fair warning, some may be just my blonde-headed-muddled-thoughts:
I have comfy slippers that I wear all day long when I am at home. These slippers are worn with my comfortable daytime-wear. (In this quarantine time, I'm getting them confused with my comfy nighttime-wear). Also, certain foods, such as anything pasta or anything chocolate will forever stay on my comfort-food-list. And of course, as an introvert, I have a specified comfort zone in which three is a crowd. Then finally and most importantly for my sanity, in the early mornings, I have a special spot on my comfortable couch where I drink my coffee and have my quiet time. At this moment, I am sitting, looking out into the beauty of nature, meeting with Jesus and writing to you.
So, what do my slippers and other "go-to-things" have to do with the role of the Holy Spirit as our Comforter? I asked the Lord the same question. The simple answer is this: just as our physical bodies crave comfort, so do our souls. I think it's safe to say we all make time and even insist on meeting our physical longings; likewise, it's even more important to take time to meet the deep need of our innermost being (which is the home of our mind, will, and emotions). The abiding Spirit of the living God is the only One who can fill this place sufficiently. His intimate love touches us in our sorrow, in our loss, in our confusion, and in our suffering.
We see this truth in our passage today. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, had been wrongfully imprisoned and then needlessly beheaded on the whim and the wish of a teenage girl and her mother. The disciples were devastated at this loss of their friend. Jesus says to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). Jesus took them to a quiet place where He could comfort them. There, the Good Shepherd gathered them together so He could listen to their bewildered hearts and then speak into their very real sorrow.
What amazes me time and again, is that the same Jesus that sat with the disciples in this scene, is the same Jesus that lives and abides in me this morning. And hear this truth...by faith, He lives and abides in you! He has something to give you right now. He is calling you directly and intimately, saying, "Come away by yourself to a desolate place and rest a while." You may need to weep with Him. No doubt, He will weep with you. Talk to Him like the disciples did long ago; speak to Him about your confusion and sorrow over your loss, whether it's a loss of a loved one, a loss of a relationship, a loss of a job, or a loss of dream. Pour it all out to Him. Then, stick around long enough for Him to pour into you. Allow His soothing words and His abiding Spirit to move within you.
We must realize that no comfy clothes or comfortable couches, or slices of pizza, or types of chocolate can truly touch our soul's desperate need.
This blond-head of mine gets it now: Jesus in my soul is like the slippers on my feet. His Spirt wraps around me, I in Him, and Him in me, an individually molded fit. I can now rest in the comfort of His love.
For further reading: Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 40:1-2; John 16:5-7
Help us to never forget that You abide in us. You know how to calm us from the inside-out; everything else is from the outside-in. These things cannot touch our soul. May we crave You more than anything else, because You are our greatest need and our only real hope. Comforter, wipe our tears today and give us peace. Amen.