In Need of Comfort
A few years ago, my husband and I bought a new quilt. We found that it was too hot to use when its cover was on. Mind you – the duvet was a light, all seasons duvet. Not bulky by any standards. But uncomfortably warm for us. And so we removed its cover. That worked very well. It served us for many years – soft, soothing and comfortable – blessing us with delicious warmth in winter. I even liked using it during our hot summers as long as I put our air conditioner on before we went to sleep.
A few weeks ago, we decided that our previously white duvet wasn’t white any longer. In fact, it looked positively grubby! It was time to dump it. I was a little sad to part with it because it still felt so comfortable. My brilliant husband, always good at research scoured the Internet and found its perfect successor. Oooo! Our new quilt looked great. White and clean and beautiful – and ahem… very different from our grubby one.
That night, we both looked forward to sleeping under our new duvet. I hurried back after my nightly shower and jumped into bed with great anticipation. I settled in under our new beauty and began to read. Shan joined me, a happy smile on his face. But oh dear. I soon felt hot. I pushed it aside. After 5 minutes, I placed it back. But again, a few minutes later, it felt far too warm. Shan turned off our electric oil heater and that was better.
But ….. I so wished I had my old duvet on instead. Yes, the new one was comfortable – but it wasn’t as soft as our old one. It would take months of usage before it reached its optimum level of comfort. I yearned to yank off the new one and bring back the old, so I had to fight the urge to do that before I went to sleep. But I knew I had to persevere using the new one in order for it to get softer. And at least it did look beautiful and clean.
The next morning as I made my bed – I was reminded that life was like my experience of the previous night. I usually want life to continue the way it’s always been. But change is the one sure thing in life. We lose people we love. Pets die. Children grow up. Our waistlines widen. Our purses empty. Illness creeps up on us. Sad times overwhelm us.
Over the last 2 years I have been wandering around a season of uncertainty and change. My spirit has sometimes rebelled against it. Like many of us, I prefer life to be predictable. With little or no change. Having my loved ones close to me always. When my beloved Mum died earlier this year, I discovered that life had inexplicably changed forever. It was grief but far more than grief. Talking to friends who have also lost aging parents – I've found that mine was not a unique experience. We'd like our parents to live forever.
Over the past few days Adelaide has been reeling in shock and pain. Phil Walsh, coach of the Adelaide Crows was murdered early on Friday morning, his wife taken to hospital with injuries and their son being charged with murder. What a dreadful tragedy. I’m not a footy fan – but it has shaken me deeply. I grieve with all the football community and with all who mourn this terrible loss.
Death comes roaring in when least expected. It wraps iron chains of grief around those who mourn. A cruel thief who steals the very best people from us. How and where do we find comfort in such a time as this? The film ‘Inside Out’ reminded me of a soothing truth. That anguish and sorrow can bring people together. Grief is often an intruder. But it has the power to bring us close as we reach out to each other in solidarity. As we shed tears. As we listen. As we love.
In the night of deep grief, there shines a flickering candle. Hope. Two thousand years ago Jesus, Lord of the Universe, suffered a cruel death; taunted by the same men He had created and loved. So we can take heart. God understands tragedy. He knows what it feels like to lose a loved one. He feels with us in our pain. Jesus was called ‘A man of sorrow, acquainted with grief.” But it didn't end there. Jesus rose again. Through His death and resurrection, Life walked into the world, never to be defeated again.
So as we grieve – let us hold hands with one another. Let us pray for the family and friends of Phil Walsh. Let us reach out to the God who knows and loves us. In Him is life and His life is the light of men. Would you like to know the God of all comfort? He is near, waiting till you cry out to Him. He is a very present help in trouble. And His love is the one sure light that has overcome the darkness.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 14:1. 16:33