Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The God of All Comfort: Loving Ways God Binds Up Our Wounds

Can I just tell you how good our God is?  Recently, I've been dealing with some personal attacks from the enemy - situations that have caused me to lose heart and dare I say it...my focus on Him. Yet, in the midst of the struggle, my Heavenly Father has not been far behind, offering me comfort and wooing me back into the safety of His love and guidance.

Even as I'm typing this, I've just gotten word of a friend dealing with a desperate situation - one that could have life altering effects, yet, I am reminded that we serve a great God, a God of all comfort.  His mercies never fail and and His goodness will prevail.

So how does our God reach out to us when we're hurting?  How does He demonstrate His love even when it seems as if all hope is lost?

It may come through the lyrics of a song or thoughtful words written by a friend.  He may speak to us through a timely devotion or call from a far away friend.

Often times it's that still, small voice whispering to our thoughts - "You are loved. I am here."

David, the Shepherd-King, knew a thing or two about binding up the wounds of those in his care.  In Psalm 23 he penned the all familiar passage:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

David, though chosen by God and anointed as King, faced trials of many kinds: death of a child; rejection by those he cared about; assassination plots; godly discipline after sinful choices; loss of a friend; war; plagues, wayward children; etc. Yet, God never abandon him.

David was able to offer up praise even in the midst of his storms and recognize that his help and source of strength was the One and only True God.

A wayward sheep might wander off from its flock as it casually munches grass.  A good shepherd knows that danger lurks when one of these little ones stray far from his watch and the protection of the herd.  So, he will "leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off." (Matthew 18:12)

Often, the sheep will have fallen and wounded itself, been snagged in the brush and thistles, or been harmed by a lone wolf, yet the shepherd binds up the animals wounds and carries the sheep on his shoulders, back to the loving care of his sheep pen.  Just as that human shepherd does for the animals within his care, so our Heavenly Father does for us.

Whatever situation you are finding yourself in today, whether you have been wounded by sinful choices of your own doing, or as a direct result of someone else, know that the Good Shepherd is not far away.  He will seek you out, bind up your wounds, and bring you back into the security of His sheep pen, if you will only call out to Him.  Look for it!  Listen for Him calling!  The comfort He brings is more healing than any worldly salve.

God bless!
Kristi

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