“God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 NIV
I have always loved this scripture, but when I became a parent, it began to mean even more. Any good parent would protect their children, try to mend them and take care of their injuries. My first instinct is never to scold them for getting hurt, never lecture them or make them feel badly, but to love and comfort them. Now if they need to be reminded or taught a lesson about staying safe, I will do it. But it’s out of love, concern and protection.
I have to remind myself of those feelings when I go to God brokenhearted or wounded….He will not be the parent who says, “I told you so” or “Look what you’ve done”. He will be the one to wrap His arms around me, love me, comfort me and help me learn a lesson. Thank goodness!
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13 NIV
Part of me finds comfort in this verse, but another part of me does not. Does it mean as I comfort my kids or the ideal mother? When my children are hurting, either physically or emotionally, I would stop at nothing to ease their pain and comfort them. But other times, when their distress is whiney, annoying or uncalled for, I couldn’t feel less comfort. I know in my heart that God is better; He is perfect and meets us exactly where we are, giving us exactly what we need. I still haven’t figured that out completely as a mother, but I’m glad that I have a perfect God from whom to learn.
“The sun can break through the darkest cloud; love can brighten the gloomiest day.” William Arthur Ward
“May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.” Psalm 119:76 NIV
We live in a society where “love” fails at times due to our imperfect humanity. As much as we love our children, I’m not a perfect parent and as much as I love my husband, I’m not a perfect wife. I have failed at times in all areas. And even as much as I love God and people around me, I know I that I fall short.
So “unfailing” love is an amazing concept to me and admittedly, difficult to get my head around. Keeping promises and unfailing love do provide me comfort in the scariest and uncertain of circumstances and for that, I am grateful.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 ESV
At times, I do feel a sense of grief to some degree, working through the various stages. But a neighbor friend of mine who is a widow and mother of 5 has given me much perspective. I’m sure she has her days, but she is a pillar of strength and grace. I think of her often and when I do, I feel a sense of responsibility to get it together. I don’t feel that you have to compare grief, pain or loneliness in order to allow yourself to feel such, but when I feel that I’m being swallowed by it, being able to do for others with a greater need is the perspective I always want.
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13
Extreme coincidence tonight that I have been awakened by odd requests from my children…..one was to massage arms and hands, which is not a norm, but okay. The sense of peace and comfort that shown on her little face was so cute. Another later was my son crying that his leg hurt. He couldn’t quite tell me what or why, but said he had this pain. It could have lost circulation or been a “charlie horse”…who knows. But as I was rubbing his leg, he turned to me and said, “pray for me, mommy” so I did and within minutes, he was fast back asleep.
I have always found comfort in my mother, even in my adult years. A sense of security, protection, encouragement and the opportunity to provide that for another human being is nothing short of amazing. I am overwhelmed by even the small insight this has given me into how great the comfort of God could even compare.
“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.” John Burroughs
So the day finally came…..I always thought I was prepared, I’ve experienced this before, so many families go through this and it’s just part of the job, I knew this before I got married, etc. But then I realized it’s not other people….it’s me and I’m sad, my children are sad and why do I have to witness my 6 yr old crying at the airport holding on to the love of his life, all he holds dear, his sense of security, his best play buddy and thensome walk away. It’s actually like going through the stages of grief in a way. I think I’ve moved quickly to “acceptance”…..well, only because one has to.
I received a book for Christmas that contains verses as words of encouragement for “busy” people…..given the fact that my spouse deployed the very next day would rank “busy” as an understatement of the year! So I found the book timely and love reading scriptures because no matter how many times I’ve heard them, I often receive new meaning depending on where I am in my life at the time. So another aspect of the book I found coincidental was the number of verses listed was close to the number of days of our deployment. So my plan is to take a verse each of these days and see what it has in store for me! It should be an interesting ride.
Day 1 – “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 tribulation.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV
Wow, when I read this at the end of today, I found it powerful because I really needed mercy and comfort. I felt so frustrated with my children this morning….and on our way to church no less. So when I asked them to forgive me for being irritable and stressed, they showed me much mercy and love. We had a family meeting and talked about how we can work better as a team (they are little, but my son plays sports so he loves anything with a “team” theme). I found that we all needed just a little comfort during this transition as we’re adjusting to our new paradigm. At first, I thought the word “tribulation” seemed too strong for my situation…..we are healthy, loving and have a good support system while apart. But one of its definitions is just a “trying experience” so I would say ours qualifies!
So tomorrow is a new day!