Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Trio of Consolation

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you." (Isa. 66:13)

Are you in need of comfort today? It need not be bereavement, just a feeling of being alone and/or hurting. Comfort is one of many things in life searched for in all the wrong places, or from all the wrong people. If I may, I'd like to remind you (and me) of the right place and, above all, the right people. I call them a Trio of Consolation.

The Holy Spirit

In the ideal situation, it is the mother in the home who provides comfort to its occupants, in much the same way the Holy Spirit brings comfort to the heart of a believer (Jno. 14:26). Unless the inclination has been stifled somehow in childhood, or by a disdain for the feminine role, in general, I think all women possess a need to console and nurture. Whether she has children of her own or not, a woman's "mother-heart" is drawn to a crying child or a hurting soul. And her first impulse will be to gather them into her arms, next to her heart. The Holy Spirit, who is called "the Comforter," possesses that same impulse, and you and I, as children of God, have access to His heart, at all times.

The Father

The emotion most like this, and one which a father may possess, is pity. We read in Psalm 103:13, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." This is as it should be, for it is the father who will make the hard decisions and prod the children to try a little harder and go a little farther. Because of this, he may run the risk of being too rigorous at times, and it's then that his ability to show pity will be most appreciated! It is said of our heavenly Father that "he knoweth or frame; he remembereth that we are dust" (Psl. 103:14). He knows what we're made of, because He made us; and when we disappoint Him and ourselves, He looks on us with pity and lets us try again.

The Son

But if our heavenly Father shows us pity, and the Holy Spirit is our source of comfort, what does God, the Son, bring to this Trio of Consolation? Why, empathy, of course, the ability to experience as our own the feelings of another. Hebrews 7:26 tells us Jesus did not simply reach down from where He was to comfort and show us pity; He actually came where we are (He "became us"). So now we can be assured the great heart that wept at the grave of a friend (Jno. 11:35), and over a doomed city (Luke 19:41), is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb. 4:15).

In the three Personalities of my God, I have the comfort of a mother, the pity of a father, and the empathy of a brother. Supernatural solace for inconsolable grief--what a thing! No wonder the songwriter wrote:

Come, ye disconsolate, where-e'er ye languish

Come to the mercy seat; fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts; here tell your anguish,
Earth has no sorrow that heav'n cannot heal. 

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