We all face times when our thoughts are overwhelming, when the river of trouble is rising and we feel trapped. What can we do when there seems to be nothing we can do? Yup, God’s got an answer for that.
When the news ain’t good and the troubles are about to overwhelm you, what can you do?
On February 27, 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, a woman by the name of Ruth Dillow received the worst call of her life. Her son Clayton, a Private First Class in the United States Army, had stepped on a land mine and was dead. For the next three days she grieved. No one could comfort her. On the third day after receiving the terrible news, the phone rang. On the other end of the phone there was a voice that said, “Mom, it’s me. I’m alive.” She couldn’t believe it, and at first she thought it might even be some sort of a cruel joke; but as the conversation continued, she realized it truly was her son. She laughed and cried and rejoiced because what seemed to be a hopeless situation turned out to be the greatest day of her life.
That’s what news from a graveyard can do for you.
Today’s verse says IN THE MULTITUDE OF MY THOUGHTS WITHIN ME, YOUR COMFORTS DELIGHT MY SOUL
This world is NOT an easy place in which to live, to work, nor certainly to raise a family. It is, in fact, a very difficult place.
Paul says he and his companions were afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Not an easy ministry. (ARE THERE any easy ministries??) Part of the difficulty in life lies in the LOSS we encounter and the pain that those losses bring. And let’s be honest, not everyone will get the answer to our prayers that Ruth Dillow got to hers. But news from a graveyard can still make all the difference in the world.
I know another person who’s friends and family got news three days after His reported death that He was alive. His name is Jesus. And as wonderful as Clayton’s “return from the grave” was for her and her family, it doesn’t affect you and I one bit. But that’s not the case with the resurrection of Jesus. His return from the grave is a whole different story. His life has the capacity to change ours.
Our HOPE and our COMFORT in all the things we face in life is God’s promise that He works all things together for our good when we give ourselves to Him in love, that He will eventually swallow up death for all time, that God will wipe tears away from all faces, that God will strengthen us and help us.
He has sent His Holy Spirit to fill us with His power and His peace. You and I can have that peace even in the midst of the storms of life. Even as our thoughts are like a stormy ocean inside of us, with waves of anguish, fear and doubt crashing over us – HE WILL STEP IN and give us His peace as we give our concerns to Him, ask for His strength and trust in His provision. IN THE MULTITUDE OF MY THOUGHTS WITHIN ME, the verse days. Yes, even when everything seems overwhelming – YOUR COMFORTS DELIGHT MY SOUL. His comforts. PLURAL. He has multiple comforts to send, and He’s not facing a supply shortage.
Ahhh, the Lord has spoken; and He is our comfort. He will comfort and strengthen our hearts in every good work and word. And He is true to His word. Just ask Him.
He comforts us. We comfort others.
Once during Queen Victoria’s reign, she heard that the wife of a common laborer had lost her baby. Having experienced deep sorrow herself, she felt moved to express her sympathy. So she visited the bereaved mother one day and spent some time with her. After she left, the neighbors asked what The Queen had said. “Nothing,” replied the grieving mother. “She simply put her hands on mine, and we wept together.”
His life continues to flow into the broken hearts who need His touch of grace, and He often uses US – we who know both the pain of the world AND the power of Jesus.
The day is coming when the Lamb in the center of the throne will be our shepherd, and will guide us to springs of the water of life. Soon God will wipe every tear from the eyes of we who love Him so deeply. Soon, but not yet. Soon He will turn mourning into joy. Soon He will comfort us, exchanging joy for our sorrows.
But while we remain on this planet and face these battles, we need to keep two things in mind. First, as we face a crisis in life we can choose to face it alone or in His comfort. Give him the multitude of your thoughts over and over and over, whenever they rise up give them over to Him. Exchange them for His comforts, exchange them for His peace and His presence. Second, as we see others in pain or difficulty, let us comfort one another in His grace, strength and love. Let no one stand alone.
God gives us HOPE and COMFORT. So I hope you’re comfortable. That’s what news from a graveyard can do for you.