“Blessed be the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction.”
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
The main story in this week’s lesson is about a woman who deals with the battle of cancer for three years before being able to be free. Her friend, the author has taken the journey, and lessons and placed them into this study so beautifully I believe. The friend that was ill was sometimes the one that needed comforted and sometimes the one comforting others. She lived bravely and that cancer was a gift, that’s what she stated. I am not sure I could do that, but if I ever become terminally ill, I pray I can remember this study and what was placed before me. She chose to be thankful despite the despair she was feeling, she was an example what God did many times through Jesus Christ.
As you can tell from the first post, I like to share things that caught my eye or stirred emotion in me from the book we are studying. Here are a couple.
She chose Bible verses that pointed to a love beyond the grave. A Savior who took nails in His hands and feet to ensure that nails in our coffin did not eternally separate us from Him.
Folks, this gave me goosebumps. Because it’s the truth.
God’s love for you goes with you wherever you go. He loves you with an everlasting love. A love that outlasts the grave.
I love that last line. It makes me feel loved and completely smiling.
When acting as a caregiver, which myself has only done a couple of times in my life, it can take a lot out of a person. God uses the Holy Spirit and Jesus was an advocate in the time he spent among people. They work together to bring what we need and then as caregivers we are the human touch. God is the only source that can refresh the caregivers and provide them with guidance of how to continue to care.
Our lesson brought us to the subject of God as our Comforter. This gives us a perfect example of someone who, although they are perhaps struggling with the news, are still able to offer comfort to the one truly in pain. In John 11: 32-36, Jesus showed us how this is possible. He was able to comfort Mary and Martha over Lazarus death, all the while weeping himself for his friend. It’s a beautiful example, although not an easy task. Our Saviors compassion sets an example for all of us. We must intentionally lean on him in difficult times to continue on. Through the Word, through time with other Christians, and if needed finding help through Pastors and those in the church. Caregivers are special to the Holy One.
The sunshine shown from the person with cancer in this story, that sunshine could possibly have brought others to Christ. She found strength in Him and wanted to share his wonderful story. In her attempt to be the one comforting she chose to continue the traveling pattern they had created as a family. She wanted her ashes taken to four different locations, with her family completing the tasks together. It was a lovely last gesture I thought. If you could focus on loving beyond the grave, what would you choose? I had never thought of it before for myself. Personally, I decided I would want to create a scholarship fund for church mission trips or camp fees, or outreach for the elderly. For now that is all that is on my list, perhaps more will come with time. Ponder that and feel free to comment with ideas and suggestions.
So let’s recap. Those that are dealing with illness are sometimes the comforters, while sometimes they are receiving comfort by their caregivers. Caregivers in either designated spot can find strength and encouragement through Christ via the Word. May we all be the strength that is needed, whether we are the comforter or one being comforted.
This prayer was listed in this week’s study. It’s so beautiful I will close with it.
The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. Isaiah 50:4 (NIV)
In Jesus Name, Amen
Grace is a gift,