In the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”, Will Smith played a character whose wife walked out on him when everything went wrong in his life. A series of unfortunate events left him and his son homeless. They ended up staying in a shelter. A memorable scene from that portion of the movie was when he was at a chapel service in the shelter, listening to an inspiring song from the choir:
“Lord don’t move that mountain,
Give me the strength to climb it.
Please don’t move that stumbling block,
But lead me Lord around it.”
This year, the Lord had in store for me to spend my birthday on 15th September in an unusual manner and this week has been very different from the norm. Instead of being able to continue with the initial celebration plans with friends and family, I received news of my uncle passing away on the 14th September night, followed by our dear Elder Chai Kee who was called home to the Lord on 17th September morning. As I made the choice to be thankful to spend my birthday this way by being there for my loved ones, I remember God and His reassuring hope for me and those who need Him in every situation.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 we learn about “true comfort”.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God
of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For just as we share abundantly in the
sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort
abounds through Christ.”
True comfort comes from God. He is called the God of all comfort and mercies. Sometimes, we seek comfort from food, from people, from activities that may distract us from our grief and loss. Yes, God can use all these but we have to recognise first that He is the only source of true comfort.
There is no limit to the comfort He provides. When we seek comfort from men or from other areas, they can disappoint us. But the comfort God provides is limitless simply because He is our Creator who knows us and He is the God of patience and encouragement (Romans 15:5).
He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5). We can therefore be assured that He is always present with us in the midst of our pain and grief. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, His presence goes with us and comforts us. We need to learn to be still and know that He is God in the uncertainties and the unpredictability of life. He is our rock and fortress, a very present help in times of trouble.
Finally, God comforts us so we can comfort others! This is living out the “one another” injunction in the Bible. God strengthens us so we can strengthen the hand of a brother or sister in-Christ. As we have experienced His love so we share His love with one another. As we have embraced His comfort so we share His presence with one another. As we have witnessed His grace in our lives so we shower it on one another.
The sufficient grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all as we grieve or go through any situation.
By Pauline Mok, Deaconess (YCKC Bulletin 21&22 September 2013)