The God of All Comfort
Comfort food soothes the soul of both the one who makes it, as well as the one who eats it. I made this thick, French-style beef stew in a red wine broth yesterday. It took several steps, and then was cooked low and slow in my old, gorgeous clay pot, all day long. There is something so comforting about taking the time to prepare a detailed but classic recipe. Circumstances can spin out of control, but a good beef stew is reliable.
Words of comfort, via post.
That word "comfort" in Scripture means to be summoned to God's side, and drawn very near to Him. It means to be spoken to, given reassuring counsel and instruction. It means to be given strength. It means to be relieved, calmed, soothed, and salved.
It also infers that I allow myself to be console-able. That is an important part of the process, and one rarely talked about. To be inconsolable is to, in fact, be proud. It is to think that my problems are unique, and my pain deeper than anyone else's.
To all who are thirsty, weak, exhausted and discouraged, our Great God says "Come here, child. Tell me the problem."
"Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest..." this is to be comforted by the Only One Who Can...summoned to the side of the One who alone has the power to restore your soul.
Oh, to be a vessel of comfort! I should be quite satisfied by a ministry of pure comfort - doing my small part each day to soothe a precious saint. None of us, by ourselves, has the power to bring the full spectrum of comfort that a grieving heart needs. None of us should even try to bring "all" comfort. That would be pretentious. Rather, we should look to the God of all comfort, trusting Him to show us our part.
So someone brings a word. Someone brings cookies and flowers. Someone sends a card. Someone checks in, briefly, each day via email - no strings attached. Someone brings a meal. Someone gives finances. Someone organizes a level of ongoing assistance. Someone takes up the slack.
It is all comfort, and all true comfort originates with God.