My Friday sadness carried over into the weekend. It was a nice weekend. Little bit won her last basketball game. The baby had his best friend over to play. We baked. I hosted a little shower planning session in my backyard with fabulous women. Church was wonderful.
A good weekend.
But underneath, I still was holding my Day 5 sadness. Feeling tears ready to surface at any moment.
As I drove in for Day 6 treatment this morning, I was pretty grumpy. How do I keep doing this? My skin hurting. A cavern inside.
Instead of calling my best friend like I usually would, I opened my Bible Gateway app. We’ve been reading the Psalms, so I intended to listen some of the Psalms as I drove. Yet when I opened the app, there was 2 Corinthians 1. The scripture you see above was the “daily” scripture that appeared on the home page.
Maybe I was in need of a bit of comfort, so I clicked on that chapter. Then I pressed play (I love that you can listen to scripture being read on this app).
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.
I heard: AHA! Of course. This is just like everything else. The divorce, infertility, job loss, and all the other challenges. This is what will allow me to comfort those in trouble with the comfort God is providing for me. I’ll understand. I’ll be equipped. And… He is the God of ALL COMFORT. That’s comforting.
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
I heard: We are sharing in His sufferings. C’mon, this isn’t new info. His skin was ripped and torn in a way mine will not be. Endurance. Remember? The race I’m supposed to be running. Endurance doesn’t come easy. (Patient endurance, REALLY doesn’t come easy.) I’m wishing it did right now. But this suffering isn’t done in a vacuum – it comes with the supernatural comfort only He can give. He is providing it right now. In this moment.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
I heard: Paul despaired of life itself. He knows what it was like to be in the bell jar. But it happens, his trials, my trials, all of it SO WE MIGHT NOT RELY ON OURSELVES BUT ON GOD. Who, by the way, RAISES THE DEAD! Remember? He’s granted us the same power. Remember? I’m not supposed to rely on myself. This is too much for me. But I have this hope. In the depth of my soul: that He will continue to deliver me. PLUS – look at that little end part sister! Then MANY will give thanks ON MY BEHALF because HE ANSWERED SO MANY PRAYERS. His work in my life is an answer to the prayers of many. I have the incredible chance to be a walking, talking show of His gracious favor in answer to the prayers of many.
It’s too much.
The tears that were always there on the precipice all weekend started leaking. But not from sorrow today. From joy.
That’s. Not. All.
Are you sitting down?
My little Max McLean Bible app just kept reading, and then he got to this at the tail end of the chapter:
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Have you been reading all my radiation day posts by chance? Let me take you back to Day 2 – Sealed.
I wrote about what God was revealing to me for my Lenten journey. This whole become less thing. He gave me the word SEALED. I was looking up all these passages because I thought I was going to share them with a friend of mine. They were given to me FOR ME too.
The one that has been holding my attention these past two weeks? IT WAS IN 2 CORINTHIANS 1. Right there at the end.
After we get all this incredible news about the God of ALL COMFORT who is with us in our suffering, we get this explosive piece of news. God makes us stand firm. Anoints us. Sets His seal of ownership on us. God puts HIS SPIRIT IN US as a deposit. As a guarantee of the hope to come.
That about sent me over the edge.
The goodness of God.
Who reminds us in the exact moment we need to hear it that He knows and understands our suffering. He is right with us to comfort us.
AND? We are His. Sealed.
I marched right into that appointment with an entirely different disposition. To my friendly Monday radiation team. I love this team – all these super fun, upbeat women. Very efficient. In and out with cheer.
Let’s go. Sealed, comforted, and ready to stand firm.