God as Comforter
by Abbey Drury
I will not claim to understand the comfort of God at a level that some of His children understand it, because I have not yet experienced the pain some of you now know. But I can say that what little I do know of it has helped me better understand “the length and width and height and depth of His love.”
Because the interesting thing about comfort is that it does not fix the problem that caused us to seek comfort in the first place. When we lose a member of the family and turn to a friend or a sibling or a parent looking for consolation, we do not expect them to breathe life into our lost loved one. They cannot undo what has been done. In fact, most of the time all they can do is sit quietly with us.
Instead, comfort does something else: it becomes a source of joy and lessens the distance between the comforted and the comforter. Although in our pain we know a friend cannot solve the issue at hand, in comfort our burden is somehow lightened, and our relationship with our friend, our comforter, is deepened.
So what does that mean in the relationship with a “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort?” (2 Corinthians 1:3) How much more joy, that joy that draws us closer to our comforter, will we find when we seek comfort in Him?
His Word tells us:
“Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people,
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” -Isaiah 49:13
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me
out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place
to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” -Psalm 40:1
Comfort will not erase our afflictions, but when it is sought in the Father of compassion it can replace our song of sorrow with a hymn of praise, praise to Him. For the more we receive His comfort, and find such joy, the more we will want Him and His unfailing love to be its source (Psalm 119:76), and the more the distance between the Comforter and the comforted will be lessened.