Monday, May 12, 2014
Pain and Comfort
A well-known Tallahassee resident is about to die because of breast cancer. She's battled it for years with many ups and downs, but now her liver is failing so no one expects a recovery.
Everything she is going through is exactly what I used to be afraid of. It's exactly what I prayed against--people not believing she has enough faith to survive, people adjusting their prayers from requests for healing to begging for her to be released from her awful time in "this life". When she passes many will sigh with relief as the burden of having worried about and sacrificed so much for her over the years passes.They will talk about how she's in a better place now. And they will be right.
Maybe having watched her health decline will make it easier for her boys and her devoted best friend to recover from losing her. Maybe having hundreds of people offer hugs and platitudes will ease the pain. Perhaps all the flowers that are delivered will send delicate fragrances that seep into their consciousness and revive special memories of happy days spent with her. Or, maybe none of this will help.
Probably the fact that her boys have no mother will put a damper on the summer. The scent of the flowers will likely become a stench to all who cross them, a reminder that she cannot smell them any longer. Those who loved her will have pain that cannot be covered by reminders of this heaven that we cannot fully envision.
Self-control and smiling faces can mask the pain but only one thing can remove it. The One who endured it all but didn't have to (Hebrews 12:2). The One who truly understands what we go through and promises to comfort us with the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). The one who is closer than a brother, who sustains us on our sick bed but still numbers our days (Ps 3:5; Job 14:5). Only He can bring true healing, and only He will bring true healing (Jer 30:17).
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, "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.