Words of Hope: The God of All Comfort
My Dad believed fully in Christ and in His resurrection power. He did not fear death but trusted implicitly in the message that the dead in Christ shall be raised. He loved to talk about the resurrection because it is the gospel’s centerpiece. Dad also felt deep appreciation and gratitude for the cross. He imagined the torment Jesus went through on the road to Golgotha, the agony of the nails, the torture of hanging on the cross. When Dad was dying and struggling to breathe, he was in his travail and not fully conscious, but the Hospice nurse said he could hear us. I told him he had an opportunity to experience in some small way the sufferings of Christ. I said this to him as I swabbed out his mouth with a small sponge which immediately reminded me of the cross. I said, “You have water on this sponge; imagine if this was vinegar like they gave to Jesus.” Later that evening, Dad’s face had such a peaceful glow. Everyone remarked on it. My mom kept saying over and over, “Isn’t he beautiful? He just looks so beautiful.”
Participating in a small way in the sufferings of Christ reminds us to be overjoyed because we get to join in the His glory when He is revealed. We too are promised to be resurrected. A dear friend of mine recently experienced deep loss. We cried together on the phone. Without the promise that the dead in Christ shall rise, despair can feel overpowering. There is nowhere to turn for comfort. I am thankful that comfort is possible like a miracle, like a resurrection from the death of despair— a glimmer of hope in this sad and beautiful world given to us by God— the God of all comfort.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5