Gleanings – Comfort Food

2 Corinthians 1:1-7

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions.”

Comfort too? How great is that!

This Lent I have thought a lot about and written some about sin (personally, how selfish I am) and suffering (how if we are to be imitators of Paul or followers of Jesus we will endure pain and rejection). To dwell there in sin and suffering daily for a sustained period of time would be depressing. Wasn’t it TS Eliot who said we humans can only handle so much of the truth?

In Paul we hear truth that relieves, truth that enlivens as opposed to truth that humbles, breaks down and destroys. That truth? Our God is the Father of all mercies and all comfort.  And He comforts us in our afflictions. We are not forsaken to endure affliction alone. He is not absent. Nor is He idle. He comes to us bringing relief and restoring hope.

And he means for us to capitalize on it. We can comfort others in affliction with the comfort God has used to comfort us. After all, we are in this together. I have determined there are two kinds of people, those in pain and those about to be. We are all just around the corner from bringing pain upon ourselves or having it imposed upon us. So God, in His infinite wisdom, equips us to comfort in the face of what is inevitable, pain.

I am reminded of the words of John Donne:

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne, From Meditation XVII


Leave a Reply