COMFORT 2 COMFORT
Psalm 40:1-3 ‘When I waited patiently for God to help me, then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of a pit of despair, out from the swamp and mire, and set my feet on a rock and steadied me on a firm path as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praise to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he has done for me and stand in awe before the Lord and put their trust in Him’.
‘He lifted me out of a pit of despair, out from the swamp and mire’ I want to look at this phrase once more before I move on! I/we need to really grasp that there is purpose in the pain, sense in the suffering and deliverance out of the despair! If you read psalm 69, you will see a similar thread to psalm 40! in fact these two psalms of David may be related though in different circumstances
‘Save me O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink in to the mire; I can’t find a foothold to stand on. I am in deep water and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched and dry. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me’. [Psalm 69:1-3]
‘Pull me out of the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Rescue me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. Don’t let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me’. [Psalm 69:14-15]
But, notice closely what David is doing whilst he is waiting! [Verse 13] ‘But I keep right on praying to you, Lord, hopping this is the time you will show me favour. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation’. [Verse 16-18] ‘Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Turn and take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! Come and rescue me; free me from all my enemies’.
David is continually in prayer to God and keeping his relationship with the Lord sweet and open! How many of us in this same situation would blame God, our lot in life or someone else? I have to my shame and regret! But now I try hard to stay sweet and open to Father and what he is saying or wants to do through this situ!
Now, drop down to verse 20 and it all makes sense just as psalm 40 does when read meditatively! ‘Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show me some pit! If only one would turn and COMFORT me’. [Verse 20]
Have you had your heart broken? I have too! Have you experienced dark despair? I have too! Have you wished someone, just one person would show you some pity and understanding; compassion and love? Me too! Okay, I know Jesus has and by the Holy Spirit still does pity and comfort us! However, sometimes we need the flesh and blood touch! Now that may just be me, however if it was, then how do we explain away the story of the Good Samaritan? Why didn’t God Himself or an angel come to the aid of the broken man? I believe one of the many lessons of the Good Samaritan is that God wants us to touch others lives! We are extensions of God’s hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth and heart!
He comforts us SO THAT WE can comfort others! What we obviously have to be aware of is ‘the pity party, woe is me mentality!’ But, if we never felt pain and despair, then we could never ever empathize with folk! All the best counselling training will only give head knowledge! Real comfort and counsel comes THROUGH those who have BEEN THROUGH, and have COME THROUGH deep waters and despair! Question is I guess, “What have you done or are doing with your pain?” “When was the last time you tried to comfort someone?” For me it was yesterday. One of our staff has had a week of hell! She crashed her car, then the next day her mum had a bus go in to her car and yesterday her friend died! Wow, what a week! What did I do? Just let her talk, was just there if she needed a chat! I simply showed an interest and that I cared and that it did matter and her grief was important. I was just there! So, let us just be there for those who need it! Are you too busy for others? Have you important engagements to go too? So too did the priest and the Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan! But their business wasn’t God’s business [though it may have appeared that it was!] God’s business is people, and He can take our pain and turn it to gain so that others may gain through our heart felt pain!
PRAYER Gracious and loving God. Take our pain today and help us to help another, help us to comfort those in need for Jesus sake. Amen