Today’s Bible reading meandered into 2 Corinthians 1. As I read Paul’s greeting and introduction…
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…
…I had a flashback and vague recollection of something I might have written a long time ago. After finishing the chapter, I did a little digging and found these paragraphs from July 2008. There’s not a lot buried that deep in the archives worth dusting off and revisiting, but this simple reflection was an encouraging reminder for me today. Maybe it will help you too.
Shelly and I have been blessed with three beautiful daughters. Chloe is seven, Jadyn is two, and Emma is almost four months old. Life together is nearly always noisy, typically chaotic, but abundantly blessed. As odd as it may sound, I think one of my favorite memories will be of crying from the backseat of the car.
Chloe is Shelly’s little righthand assistant, an amazing helper with her little sisters. It really bothers her when one of them is upset, especially if they’re buckled down tight in a car seat. From the days that Jadyn was an infant, Chloe picked up on her mother’s habit of singing “Jesus Loves Me” or “Can You Count the Stars?” If Jadyn cried, Chloe would almost instinctively start singing.
Now Emma is the infant. She really doesn’t like her car seat and I can assure you there’s absolutely nothing wrong with her lungs or tear ducts. But what a special moment it was today when Jadyn, all on her own, began singing “Jesus Loves Me” to Emma in her distinctive two-year-old voice. The comforted had learned from her older sister to serve as comforter to her younger sister.
As the simple lyrics of “Jesus Loves Me” became the oft-repeated soundtrack for yet another distressing car ride, I thought of Paul’s encouragement in his second letter to the church at Corinth:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Cor 1:3-4)
The two-year-old singing on the right side of the backseat had no idea how long the journey would last, but she can sing. The seven-year-old on the left side of the backseat couldn’t take the wheel or reach the pedals, but she knows how to comfort. She learned from Shelly, who learned from her own mother, years before. Our little car was full of comforted comforters.
“Blessed be the God of all comfort.” Don’t just read over that. Meditate on this powerful description: “God of all comfort.” Carry it with you today. Through many sorrows, trials, and afflictions, he has comforted us. Let’s not be reservoirs today; let’s be channels. Let’s recognize and give thanks for our blessings, and then let’s be blessed blessings to the people around us. How graciously and patiently we’ve been comforted! Let’s serve as comforted comforters today.
Jesus, take this heart of mine,
Make it pure and wholly Thine;
Thou hast bled and died for me;
I will henceforth live for Thee. (Anna B. Warner, 1860)