26 May 2009

Almighty Comforter

"The God of all Comfort who comforts us in all our afflictions so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction ... For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

This verse reminds me to turn to God first, not the telephone. To tell Him how I've been wounded, tell Him what happened, tell Him how I feel about it. I find that I am much more metered in my choice of words (to describe the event or my offender) when I'm talking directly to God about whatever I need comfort for. They've said it before and I'll say it again, so frequently 'prayer requests' can easily turn into gripe sessions or simple gossip.

I think about my testimony and who I can comfort because Christ has comforted me. Before, I didn't necessarily "have a heart" for the divorced or unhappy wives in the world. I find that I am more able to have God's heart for them because of the comfort I've received by God's grace in my own marriage.

Let me give you an insider view into my little blogging world. So I'm writing (above). I think "where is it in the Bible about being God's hands and feet, ministering and comforting others like Christ calls us to do?" So I do a search in my Bible search thingy. A million references to feet (the ark should be ___feet long), not so helpful. So I move over to Google and search the phrase there. This leads me to a web community site full of CRUSHINGLY ... what? Crushingly painful? poignant? touching? None of those words work. If you go and read you may feel it too. I can only say I felt the heart of God towards his people. This is how Wrecked.org describe their mission:

"We want to help our readers embrace radical lifestyles in their local context and to connect to the world around them through engaging in incarnational living. In other words, if someone reads a Wrecked article, and nothing about their life changes, then we haven't done our jobs."

Here is lyrics by Brandon Heathwhich I have posted on my kids' schoolroom wall:

"Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity!
Give me your arms for the brokenhearted
the ones that are far beyond my reach...
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see."

Some people would say that it's a flaw that Gods plan was to use believers to get His name out there. Some people say there is no God, or that He's not infinitely capable or concerned in our daily affairs, because there is suffering in this world. I disagree... I think anyone who's on fire with the Holy Spirit, anyone who's abiding as we were instructed to do... those people are going to be the hands of Christ in this world, ministering to the hurt and hungry and suffering and lost. If it seems like there isn't enough getting done, my first thought is that the church is too comfortable in the plush seats of the sanctuaries to get out there and do what they've been instructed to do! What does James say, "faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:26)? Comforting the comfortless and feeding the orphan is not going to get us into heaven. But if we have God's heart for his people, people He loves... our faith will be demonstrated by our deeds.