"You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:5)
I remember a difficult week in dealing with my mental disorder. I called on family, friends, and my doctor for help, for support, and for prayer. It was really hard with the racing thoughts that were darting through my brain. I grew so weary.
I was remembering when my granddaughter was here. We would lie down together at night. I would tell her the story of Cinderella, and then we would pray. She would fall fast asleep. Have you ever tried to slip out of bed without waking a little one? Out of a high bed? As I rolled over there was nothing beneath me but the floor. I hit hard on my left hand. It broke my wrist in three places.
Sometimes now, just out of the blue, that wrist will ache deep inside the bone. It reminds me of a deeper ache inside my soul. An ache I have for the gospel and all it means. For love, acceptance, and forgiveness. I long for rest, righteousness, and peace of mind. I long to be whole. I long for God in a deeper way.
I am so very thankful for my mental illness. I think how self sufficient I was before. How God has used it in my life, and in others' lives. Now my depravity is ever before me making me cling to and depend on God. I am poor in body but also in spirit. But oh, so rich! I so want God to be glorified in me. We are such a beautiful story of His grace.
Out of this deep longing and ache blossoms an abundance of comfort. From Him to me, and then to others. It is given, not only to be kept, it must move out as a wind from a storm. His love for us is so extravagant. So bountiful. So very beautiful. It is it beyond my ability to describe, just experience.
This sometimes comes after very hard times of striving, guilty conscience, trying to measure up, wrestling with God about where I am, and what He has allowed in my life. Maybe even self pity, questioning, and silence from Him. Where is He? What is He thinking? Why can't I sense His presence? Am I doing something wrong?
Then, in comes the gospel: "I went to the cross for you. I did it all. It is finished."
Christ cannot be restrained, predicted, or tamed as a Lion. Where did this King of kings come from? This mighty warrior who is bold but gentle as a lamb. Just a breath from Him can make the earth quake and the dark sky in a storm turn light as day. He always was and always will be.
Thank you Lord for using even the hardest things in our lives to show us Your love for us. You give us unexplainable comfort which we cannot find on our own.
(Note: Further reading: 2 Corinthians 1)