Discovering Hope #12

Have you ever had news that has devastated you? One moment you are fine – life goes on the same way it went on yesterday, with no sign of things ever changing. And then there is a phone call, a visit, a conversation, and your whole world turns upside down.

Suddenly life doesn’t make sense any more. People talk, but you cannot hear them. They prepare food, but you are not hungry. They offer help, but you do not know what help you need. You are living in a bubble where nothing seems to get through to you and yet there is pain at every move.

Do you know what I mean? Have you ever experienced that? Where did you turn for help? How did you move beyond? Or perhaps you are still there, stuck in the bubble, alone, trying to make sense of things but not able to even think straight or concentrate. You have lost interest in life. And, at this point in time the pandemic is not helping – or maybe the pandemic is the cause of how you are feeling.

In this series of Discovering Hope we are looking at the characteristics of God. It is my prayer with each one that He will breath life into the words I write, at His request, so that each post may speak to you, the one who reads the words.

Today I pray they will speak to you of comfort. For God is the supreme Comforter. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, whom He called the Comforter, to His disciples after He had left them and ascended up to heaven. That same Comforter, the Holy Spirit is available to us now, whatever we may be facing.

He is difficult to describe. As the years of my faith have passed I have come to know His presence as indefinable and yet tangible. I know that doesn’t make sense. But I have experienced the Holy Spirit in my life as a knowing, a feeling, a sensing. He has touched me and made me say things that have taken courage. He has breathed on me and made me do things I did not know I could do. There are times when I feel as if there is a mist, twirling and rising around me, wrapping me in love, in life, in wisdom, in joy, in comfort.

When I need Him, He is there. I just have to ask for Him to act. Sometimes I have to wait for the right time. But the waiting is always worth it.

In times of deep sadness, His love envelopes me, warming my heart, giving me hope, comforting me and encouraging me. Gently. Gently. He knows what I need and He offers it with gentle hands and loving eyes.

How many times He has comforted me. How many times I have been able to laugh through my tears. How many times in this lockdown, when things begin to seem too hard and impossible to deal with, He has sent me a message or a call from a friend or family member to cheer me up and give me the strength to take the next step forward.

God is the Comforter. He is all I need. Whether I am angry or sad, frustrated or despairing, He is here, ready to offer me comfort. And He is enough.

Some Scriptures to ponder:

Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…

Isaiah 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

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.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.

About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I have moved to the coast and am enjoying the green spaces and beautiful vistas that surround me, reminding me of God's grace every day.
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