Friday, November 25, 2011

how the baby teaches me about the God of comfort

As soon as we leave -- that's when the crying starts.
Unconsolable, uncontrollable sobbing.

It doesn't matter how much I tell her that we'll be back -- that she's in good hands -- that we love her.
I pray with her, I hold her, I kiss her tiny little head.
"It's okay, sweetie." I croon.  "We'll be back very soon."

All of it is quickly forgotten (or perhaps never understood in the first place), which is evident from the hysterics that happen as soon as we shut the door.  As soon as we're out of sight, it's as if her world crumbles before her.  No one can comfort her but mom and dad.

It makes me wonder -- do I do the same thing?
As soon as I can't "feel" God or sense His presence -- do I think He has forsaken me?

It's different, of course.  I understand that.  When we are out at the theatre, we cannot hear her crying.  In fact, I have to force my brain not to think of her because I will worry so much about how she is doing and beg my husband to turn the car around so I can scoop my baby up and rock her to sleep.  This isn't the case with God.  God never closes the door so He can no longer hear me.  He always hears my cries, and is always there to rock me to sleep -- to comfort -- if I will let Him.

But if He doesn't come back to comfort me in the exact way I want to be comforted, do I succumb to the fear that He has left me?

Do I cry in a hysterical fit?
Do I refuse comfort from others?
Do I just block Him out?
Do I forget all the other times He has come back to scoop me up?

But I am starting to see the recognition in her eyes when we leave, and the joy when we return  -- she is starting to be calm for longer periods of time when we are away  -- and each time we leave, she is given more confidence that we will be coming back to her.

So am I learning, just like my little one is learning? 

Am I trusting Him?  

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 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.  For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.  Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort."

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

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