March 2016

headshotBy Heidi Trask

Comfort; we all need it, we all long for it, and we all look for it. We look to all sorts of things such as food, people, and wealth hoping to find comfort. We think that these different revenues will offer and give us what we seek, but in reality, no matter how hard we try, none of these will give us the true comfort we need, the comfort only Jesus Christ our savior is able to give us.

God has been teaching me what His comfort is and how much better it is to any other source I could try to find it in. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Paul talks about the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our affliction so that we might comfort others. The Lord is really using this passage as an example in my life. He is teaching me what it means to be comforted by Him through physical pain and suffering so that I may then share that comfort with others who really need it. Sometimes, I feel as though I have to be strong, and “prove” that I am okay because of Christ and what He has done. I’ve gone through so much pain and suffering that when others ask me how I am, out of habit I usually say “I’m doing great” or “Yeah I’m wonderful” when the majority of the time I’m barely hanging on. The work that Christ is doing in my heart and how He is drawing me closer to Him is amazing, yet, too much of the time my pride sneaks up and says, ‘hey, I’m alright, I’ve got this, I can handle it, I don’t need help.’ I disregard my weakness and try to do it (whatever ‘it’ is) on my own.

I know that this is not what Christ wants, nor how I should feel, yet too often I find myself going through the motions. I often feel drained and like there is no point. I’m learning that without Christ, I can do NOTHING on my own. Sure, I may be able to get by for awhile, but eventually I’ll be unable to continue, hit a wall, or get lost or confused. When this happens, and when trials, sins, emotions, or attacks from Satan bombard me, God is teaching me to run to Him in prayer and to go straight to His Word for comfort, guidance, and peace. In the past, I would have sought out friends, other things or people to get comfort. I’d run everywhere trying to find an ‘answer’ or solution to ‘fix’ the problem and continue on with my life. I went everywhere but Christ.

True comfort in God is found through His Word and in communion with Him. The Bible has so many promises, more than I could ever imagine, and all of them He promises to us who have been adopted into His family through the blood of Christ; they are the best source of comfort to a hurting heart. His promises, such as “I will never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b, Joshua 1:9)”, “Nothing in all creation can separate you from my love (Romans 8:38-39)”, “Come to me you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)”, “I keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me because he trusts in me (Isaiah 26:3)”, “I am your strength when you are weak, my grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)”, “I began a good work in you and will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6)”, “I have perfect plans for you for your good and not for evil (Jeremiah 29:ll)”, and “I will work together all things for good for you whom I love (Romans 8:28)” are all for me because Christ is in me.

I am His child, His daughter, His Bride. And because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, God is and always will be faithful to me. The more I seek and meditate on Him, the more I am able to have joy, find joy, and be joyful in the midst of so much pain and suffering. Even if my body always fails and even if I never find answers or healing, it doesn’t matter. Why? Because I HAVE Christ!

I know that I am human, that I will have days when I fall into the fear and anxiety, times that I will struggle to fight for joy, and days when I will want to give up (and do) on the fight against sin. Sin is something I will deal with and experience until the day Lord brings me home. For this life here on earth is temporary, this isn’t my home. But even when I fail, and when I fall down, Christ is always right beside me, picking me up, helping me, and upholding me with his righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10), loving me and forgiving me. What shall I fear? When I have God for me, who can be against me? What can man do (Hebrews 13:6)?

Will you open yourself up to the God of all comforts, who comforts us in ALL our afflictions? It truly is the sweetest, most precious comfort you will ever receive.

Oh Lord, my Lord, help me to continue to seek you through the Word which you have given to me, guide me where you will have me go. Give me the comfort and peace that you and only you can give. During those days and times when all seems hopeless and like there is no reason to go on, show me your Son and what He suffered for me, give me comfort in knowing that you are right beside me, holding me when I cry, and in knowing that you will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you!

                                                                                                            Amen

 

Heidi is a single woman who has been dealing with chronic health problems and pain for several years and feels lead to share with others the comfort and hope she has received from Christ through it. Heidi wishes to reach out to not only those struggling with their own health, but to everyone that struggles with daily things like faith, hope, peace, etc. She has her own blog where she shares her heart and what Christ is doing in her life, and if you would like to know more or know of someone who would be encouraged by her writing, please visit her blog at https://comforted2comfort.wordpress.com/

lisa pic 2By Lisa Blanco

I opened my eyes and blinked a few times. Was she really awake? Was I just hearing her cry in my dream? Am I still asleep? I was stuck in the mommy fog: when you’re wondering which land you’re in, the sleep one or the awake one. The monitor crackled and gave its normal feedback, then I heard it loud and clear. “Mommy, mommy? Mommmiiieeee!”

After trying to rock Adley back to sleep, I finally brought her into our bed. She nuzzled up to me and I smiled. I was sleepy but I always like any alone time I can get with one of the kids, especially if I can sleep at the same time. But then came the gagging.

“Oh it’s okay sweetie,” I said as I sat up.

Gag, gag, I could hear the liquid making its way up.

“Alright, alright, alright,” I always say this gently to the kids when I don’t want them to see me panic on the inside.

Vomit.

After wiping off a few places. I laid back down and Adley was ready to close her eyes and sleep.

Then I heard another monitor.

“Mommy?”

Little Ernie couldn’t go back to sleep, I brought him in on the couch in our room. I kissed him and began to walk back to bed and then I heard the gagging.

“Ernie? Sweetie, are you okay?”

Up came the chunks. Twice, actually. My poor boy is only 3, throwing up is so confusing and terrifying. I still feel this way and I’m 28. I cleaned him up, laid him down and told him that mommy cries when she throws up too.

When my husband woke up with the flu also, items were soaked in puke, and our washer stopped working, I had to take a second. I locked myself in the bathroom to see if God had something to say at this point.

I felt like Moses before a burning bush, called The Flu, and God was telling me to take on the task of caring for his sick people in my house. By myself. And I was saying “oh, I can’t do that.”

“I will be with you.” I remembered he told Moses.

“But, I didn’t sleep last night. The washer doesn’t work. There will be more puke. I can’t do this!” I walked out of the bathroom with about as much faith as Moses started out with.

I really felt this was all about me. Of course this would happen to a mom, I had thought, caged in by the sickness around her and bouncing around from person to person, changing her clothes after getting thrown up on and tossing them in the “we will wash these when the washer works” pile, and trying to entertain the other kids that are healthy and going stir crazy.

I was acting like I had been dealt a bad hand, like my life was a game of cards and this week was just not my week. But God is gracious as always, and revealed to me what flu week is all about.

And I can tell you, that whole week brought more vomit, the virus finally took over me too, but God was with me.

The Lord brought us very low in weakness to show us that he’s the one who cares for our family. He’s the one who brings the sickness and he’s the one who allows it to leave. He brings it in the middle of the night or at nap time. He can allow sickness to stay for a week or 24 hours.

During a family flu, his goodness and mercy are still following us all the days of our life. Our flesh is failing during sickness, but He is our strength and our portion forever, and that is what helps us get up and clean off our sick child. The Lord being our strength, trusting his care in allowing the flu, gives us the hope to make it through a very long day. And when another member of the family announces that their tummy hurts, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be your strength to run them to the toilet in time, or not in time.  And the hope of Heaven where sin and  sickness will one day be no more, will help you get through the moments of mopping the floors, or scrubbing the carpets .

As the season of much sickness sticks with us and invades our homes, remember Who allows the sickness and that he’s the strength and hope for those who trust in His Son.

Now I’m off to drink some Emergan-c. Cheers.

 

Lisa is a stay-at-home mommy blogger who regularly shares how God brings her into closer communion with Him through the joys and challenges of mommy-hood.  You can read more from Lisa on her blog at http://elizabethblanco.blogspot.com/