5 minute friday Linking up with Lisa-Jo and the great group that participates in Five Minute Friday. The main rule is to write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking – on the topic that Lisa-Jo posts about each week.

The topic for this week:  Comfort

The word comfort immediately brings the beginning of 2 Corinthians 1 to my mind and the confidence we have in knowing that God is not only the source of all comfort, but that He comforts us in our troubles so we can comfort others.

 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NLT)

I think, too, about the ways that has worked in reverse in my own life, even over the past months.  God has used the sufferings and situations others have walked through to provide comfort to me in the midst of this foggy season I’ve been in.

Today He provided comfort in the form of a small measure of normalcy – a friend who took me out for lunch for my birthday and a chance to eat at a place we always have met at in the past, time to catch up on life, and just share what’s gone on in the last few months since she came to visit me in the hospital.

And He provided comfort in the form of a box full of some really sweet notes and cards from many of the kids at church.  I’m not sure who organized it, but the friend who I had lunch with got to be the delivery person of a really sweet (and, in some cases, entertaining!) gift.  The timing couldn’t make this much more bittersweet of a gift than it was, but it is nice to know that they’re praying for me and that really did bring comfort today.

box from church box of cards

It’d be lovely if this meant things were suddenly better and all was well again, which isn’t the case.  But several examples of how God has provided comfort today immediately came to mind when I saw Lisa-Jo’s word for this week.

Finally, I thought back to this passage from Hannah Whitall Smith’s work, The God of All Comfort (or you can read it online here for free):

Our Comforter is not far off in Heaven where we cannot find Him. He is close at hand. He abides with us. When Christ was going away from this earth, He told His disciples that He would not leave them comfortless, but would send ‘another Comforter’ who would abide with them forever. This Comforter, He said, would teach them all things, and would bring all things to their remembrance. And then He declared, as though it were the necessary result of the coming of this divine Comforter: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart [therefore] be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ Oh, how can we, in the face of these tender and loving words, go about with troubled and frightened hearts.

‘Comforter’—what a word of bliss, if we only could realize it. Let us repeat it over and over to ourselves, until its meaning sinks into the very depths of our being. And an ‘abiding’ Comforter, too, not one who comes and goes, and is never on hand when most needed, but one who is always present, and always ready to give us ‘joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’

The very words abiding Comforter are an amazing revelation. Try to comprehend them. If we can have a human comforter to stay with us for only a few days when we are in trouble, we think ourselves fortunate; but here is a divine Comforter who is always staying with us, and whose power to comfort is infinite. Never, never ought we for a single minute to be without comfort; never for a single minute ought we to be uncomfortable.