Having just returned from a long walk with Reagan (my dog), it’s hard to believe that one short month ago we were experiencing record setting heat and humidity to the point that getting out of the air conditioning for any reason at all just didn’t seem worth it. Today is beautiful, with noontime temperatures in the mid 70;s with bright sun and a cool breeze. This is the second day since my first treatment that I have had the energy to walk my dog and it was a delicious treat!
One week ago this morning I was discharged from the hospital feeling like a Raggedy Ann doll and looking even worse! Over this last weekend I began to regain strength (just like my doc had said I would), and today I feel very near normal. As I was walking I was in a state of praise for everything that my five senses were taking in just in the little area of my neighborhood. In the few weeks since this part of my journey commenced I have gained such sharpened awareness of the simplest and and most wondrous things around me.
In thinking back to a week ago, John 14:18 ran through my head. There Jesus told His disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you”. These words roll down through the ages to us, His current disciples. Jesus knew how much we human beings need to be comforted. We have a conflict-filled day at work and we come home needing comfort. Someone dear to us encounters trouble and we need comfort ourselves even as they struggle. We undergo losses so small that it embarrasses us to even think that we need comfort to get through them. We undergo losses so hugh that we wonder if there is any source of comfort anywhere big enough to put a dent in our need.
Last week, I needed comfort as I was in a great deal of pain and I found that comfort in many ways. From Marv holding my hand and doing all he could to make me more comfortable to friends calling to say that they were praying even when I was too weak to take their calls, great comfort was extended to me and I was so very grateful. While in the hospital there was a nurse who took care of me who was a radical lover of Jesus and wasn’t afraid to spend time talking with me about Him. A Respiratory Therapist came into my room to give me a treatment and prayed for me as he did so. All of these people were pouring out what they had to give even as they fulfilled the scriptures direction to “comfort one another”, and peace was with me even as they ministered to me.
While I recieved so much from so many sources and was comforted, I also found that there was a comfort that surpassed them all and that was the comfort of Jesus through the direct ministry of His precious Holy Spirit to my beaten down spirit. It only took a snatch of a Bible verse or even just the whisper of the name “JESUS” to a bring about a level of comfort that was like no other. As I thought about that today I realized the wonder of what Jesus said when He told us that HE would not leave us comfortless, that HE would come to us. What an incredible reality that the comfort of Jesus Himself can be with us with no more than the whisper of His name.
It’s one thing to know scripture intellectually and quite another to know it experientially. What I learned last week is that there is no comfort like the comfort of Jesus. And even more wondrous is the fact that it is to be had just for the asking.
I will have my second treatment on September 26th, and in the meantime I will enjoy the strength, energy and comfort that is mine each and every day because I am His disciple. May you do the same each day as the wonder of His presence is just waiting to be discovered! In His Love, Joy