Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Words of Comfort

So I've now written a couple of pieces about how I've been feeling lately, my fears and struggles and doubts. But this time hasn't been all bad. I've had much comfort and encouragement from various people. This post is a tribute (and reminder to myself) of those words of comfort.

Words of wisdom from TLC friends

From BioMum
It is so hard when a dream dies. A little part of you dies too. Over the years, I have folded away many dreams...I don't think it is wrong to grieve as long as you do not become angry or bitter at God. Hold out your pain and grief to Him and ask Him to comfort and keep you through this time. All through your writing, you are affirming the truths you know. Even though you do not know yet why this dream has to be put away, you know the One who holds the future. And He knows you.

From Violamom
I, too, could count several killed dreams, sudden shocks, out-of-the-blue lightening bolts in my life--and without exception, they all were used by the Lord (on all levels) to deepen and strengthen my faith. The grieving you are experiencing right now is part of the process, and completely normal. So do NOT beat yourself up!! You are doing all the right things...you are grounded in the Truth, and I encourage you to walk by faith, not by sight. Keep pouring out your heart to your Shepherd--He's been there, and knows all you are feeling, and He can handle whatever anger and doubt and hurt you want to hurl at Him. And you already know we're here for you, too, and our friendship is just the tiniest glimpse of His massive affection for you.

From Petra
I've been mulling over a response to this for some time now. You'd think words would come easy to a linguist, but it's quite the opposite, more often than not.

I suppose the best thing I can say is to remember the art of a mosaic - something had to be dashed to pieces first in order for it to take shape. And no matter what shape it takes, there is always still something of the beauty and the wonder of what was broken there within its depths - it simply manifests itself differently, with a new beauty and wonder all its own.

Few know better than a hedgehog that a prickly and painful exterior can hide something sweet and wonderful beneath it.

From Emperor's Child
When Edmund and Lucy found themselves on the Dawn Treader, they probably really wished they could have left their cousin behind. But those of us who know Aslan's plan for that voyage are very glad, even for their sakes, that they didn't get their way in the matter. Someday, when you know the whole story, you will be glad you didn't get this scholarship.

From Queen Lucy of Narnia (citing God's Smuggler)
"We don't know where we're going but–"
"But we're glad we're going there together."

Encouragement from God's Word

Cited by BioMum
Psalm 34:18
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 131 Childlike Trust in the LORD.
A Song of Ascents, of David.
1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.

Cited by Emperor's Child
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)
Cited by BecauseofHim
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. For I know that the LORD is great, and our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases He does. All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. He does great things which we cannot comprehend. As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts. The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.

Thanks to all who have shared these words of comfort with me. Thanks also to Steward and Niffum and others on TLC chat who have comforted me in discussions, or through your silent encouragement and prayers. You have been lifting and sustaining me through this time and helped me to keep my heart grounded in my Lord.

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