Thursday, May 15, 2008

To Know Comfort

When I was a little girl, whenever I was sick, we had special things that we got to do, to make being sick not seem so bad. My mom would give me a bell to use, in case I needed to call her for something, but didn't have the "strength" to walk down and find her. (Remember this was before there were cell phones.) And she would make me crushed ice in Karo syrup, so I could have something on my stomach to take in little by little. It was delicious. And being sick - a.k.a. resting in my bed, and having books read to me, and watching movies - wasn't so bad.

I remember "making" myself sick a few times so I wouldn't have to go to school. Like doing the throw up sounds in the bathroom, or fake coughing a ton, or even using a hair dryer to make the thermometer rise really high. I think it's really funny now, looking back, thinking that I was so sneaky. Did anyone else do this, too? Or did I just have serious psychological issues from early on?

Well, anyway, today my daughter told me her throat "really" hurt. But if her panties are crumpled up too much, they "really" hurt. Or if she barely bumps her arm on something, it "REALLY" hurts. So, I didn't really take it too seriously. And we went on to preschool. In the middle of my coffee date with a fun new friend, I got a call from her teacher. "River's sick. She has a fever of 101.6."

So, feeling extremely guilty, I rushed over and picked her up. And held her tight for a while. I heard that someone else in her school had had strep, so I figured with her sore throat and high fever, I better go get her checked. The test came back negative, but we still waiting for the second one. It just seems like she's been sick a lot this year. Cold after cold. Virus after virus. And the next season comes, and you hope that it's done. At least for a month. But it's only been about 2 weeks, and here we go again.

At the doctor's office her fever was up to 103, and she was very pitiful. Just laying on me, while I held her and read books while we waited. She would barely answer questions, and was totally lethargic. I asked her if a nice cold milkshake from Chick-Fil-A would help her feel better, and of course it did.

I felt sad for her, and enjoyed being able to comfort her. I can't imagine just not comforting her. Not holding her. Not helping her. It just reminded me of how my mom used to take care of me on those rough days. I thought how it really doesn't matter what we do to help them. We just love to help them. And we want to comfort them, and be with them in the midst of the sickness. (Even though I was anti-bacing my hands like crazy all the while).

But it makes me think of our Heavenly Father, too. I know that He loves us with that deep, deep love of a father. That in the midst of strife and the suffering of this world, He truly longs to comfort us. To help us. To be with us throughout the hard days. You know, it's not like he likes us having hard times. No more than I like seeing my precious girl sick. I think that we sometimes get tricked into thinking that He's the one who is doing all this stuff to us. But that's just not who He is. It's not His Father's heart to hurt us. He says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

To think that we would go through this life with no hardship or struggle is kind of like hoping that our children would never get sick. And we know how ridiculous that sounds. Of course they're gonna get sick. But when struggles come to us, sometimes we think, "How could He let this happen?" or "Why would God do this to me?" I remember someone saying to me onetime, when I was pondering this same thing, "Why do you think God has done this to you?" And I remember thinking, "Huh. I don't know." But we so easily blame Him and keep our distance when the trials come. Like He'll only hurt us more if we let Him comfort us. It's so sad that we believe the lie that He doesn't want to care for us. That He doesn't care about us.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.

"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." Ps. 119:50

"May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant." Ps. 119:76

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God." Isaiah 40:1

"For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones." Isaiah 49:13

"I, even I, am He who comforts you." Isaiah 51:12

" comfort all who mourn..." Isaiah 61:2

"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." Isaiah 66:13

"O, my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me." Jeremiah 8:18

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3

I'm thankful that He truly is the God of all comfort, and longs to come to us in the midst of strife and struggle. I long to know that so deeply that I would let Him come. Let Him be the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts me in all my troubles.


Heather said...

I did the thermometer on the light bulb one time...but it said my temp was 108...clearly I got caught!

carrie said...

Wow- I never did that stuff. And to think you were right there in the next room plotting...

Mrs. Noonzie said...

I suspect my daughter has strep too, and we have a dr's appointment first thing in the morning. I asked her if a chick-fil-a milkshake on the way to the dr. might make her throat feel better. She wholeheartedly agreed that would work very well! Two great mommy minds think alike!

melissa said...

glad to hear i'm not the only crazy one who faked being sick - well, maybe the only one in my family! =) maybe it was all your big sister taunting that drove me to madness! haha.

and mrs. noonzie, i hope your daughter is feeling better! mine certainly is, and thank goodness, no strep!!

kelly said...

great reminders to read, melis. poor sweet river--she does look pitiful. oh, and i totally faked sick. i have to say i totally mastered the lightbulb trick--you couldn't put the thermometer on the light bulb--just near enough to it too shoot it up a few degrees:-)

melissa said...

kelly, that's awesome! i never knew that one!