Monday, August 5, 2013

The Overflow of Comfort in Suffering

“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”
Just how are we to cope with life when we’re pushed to end it?
When our struggles all swarm together, aggressively and chaotically, we vacillate between anxiousness and fatigue – back and forth, with no middle ground to be enjoyed. Hope dissipates into the ether. Even our memory for hope is scant. We search for any sign of encouragement that would help. There is none forthcoming. We wonder where God has departed to – when we most need him.
Yet, God is there, alright!
Having felt abandoned, it comes as a shock to understand it was the other way around all along. We abandoned God in our time of need. We chose a direction to go in and we departed from our only help. We sought the vain help of a world desperate and forlorn; a futile hope. Our spiritual eyes were blinded for a time; how unfortunate, just at a time when we could have most benefited from the comfort of God.
Yet, God is still there! – for us, not ever against us.
As we draw closer to God in our affliction – in the bemused numbness of our torment – we experience something of God’s comfort from a Saviour who knows our pain intimately as his own. He that was crushed for our iniquities, who has borne the pain of a groaning creation, has stooped to experience our pain with us – as we experience it.
In stooping, the Lord has poured divine empathy into our situations for us to redeem as we rest in the lushness of his Presence. What sounds so winsome is a hard reality with a soft landing – the day comes with hope after a full night of despair.
Christ suffered more so he would have sound basis to know the cosmic totality of suffering; divine credibility is important when we reach out to God in our pain. We are healed because if Christ could forgive stark oppression, so can we.
As the sufferings of Christ flow over into each of our lives, so too does the comfort we receive from God overflow when we draw close. Such a comfort is enjoyed by a sweet and serene surrender, accepting the pain for what it is. Such surrender is courageous and true to experience; thus comfort is given and enjoyed.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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