Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1-24, 2 Corinthians 2:1-4, Isaiah 40:1-2, Romans 5:8-10
Of all the people excited about my parents moving into a new house, I wasn’t one of them. Although I live in an entirely different state, hours away, I was under the impression that my mom and dad would live in the house I grew up in for the rest of their lives, tending to my childhood belongings and keeping our memories safe. But ultimately, that wasn’t the best plan for them, and while I understood that, I didn’t want to accept it.
All I could think about was how their new house wouldn’t have the staircase I’d walked down while wearing my high school prom dress, the room where my brother learned to play the trumpet, or the end of the driveway where the school bus used to wait for us. It wouldn’t have a hidden nail polish stain on the bedroom carpet, or our cat’s favorite spots to lie in the sun. It wouldn’t have neighbors who stopped by on birthdays or just because, and it certainly wouldn’t have an address already known by heart.
And yet, after the moving trucks had gone and the boxes had been unpacked, I visited my parents’ new house and was surprised to find it less empty than I’d imagined. Inside, I was greeted by a hallway of family photographs, the scent of my favorite brownies wafting through the air from the kitchen, and the cat snuggled up and basking in the sunlight. Sometimes, comfort comes with us. God’s presence always does, that’s for sure.
Many times, it’s easy to forget that we don’t face suffering alone the way Christ did. Because of His sacrifice, we get pain and comfort in equal proportion, not one without the other. “For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows” (2 Corinthians 1:5).
Suffering may bring us to new places we’d never choose to go, but God’s comfort promises to follow. It may not take away all the pain or change the situation entirely, but it does something even more significant: it reveals to us God’s heart for His people, His love for us. He didn’t want us to know the wrath of pain without knowing the eternal promise of its relief. Comfort reminds us of the end game of eternity. It acknowledges God’s power and ultimate plan to set things right again.
May God’s comfort be the thing to rearrange our afflictions and lift us to joy. May the promises of His tenderness meet us in our griefs and sorrows, disappointments and not-yets. May the kindness of His character find us and make even darkness an occasion to seek light. And may we feel at home and at rest in His comforting presence. Amen.