Dumb question, but have you ever been really sad? Maybe it’s now. Maybe you have suffered a loss recently, whether it’s a loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, or a dream. When I was thinking about how the Lord describes Himself as the Comforter in Scripture, I prayed, “Lord, please speak. Bring things to mind that help me understand Your role in our times of deep sadness.” Well, here is my brainstorming list, some of which may 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. Finally and most importantly, for the sake of my sanity, I have a special spot on my comfortable couch in the mornings 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 intense sorrow.
We see this in Scripture when Jesus comforts the disciples. 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 6:21-31). Jesus took them to a quiet place. 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, 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. 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 gracefully 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. He knows how to calm us from the inside-out; everything else is from the outside-in.
This blonde-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.
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