Thursday, September 6, 2012

He Comforts Us

As a new parent, I was so attuned to my son, PJ.  There were many times I needed PJ to do things he didn't want to do and keep his cool at the same time.  We watched each other continually.  As he watched me stay calm, I could see it was easier for him to react calmly to his circumstances.  For example, when he was 5 years old, we had a string of 4 hurricanes that ran through our area, each within weeks of each other.  We had large trees in our back yard and these were serious storms, some of which lasted for days.  Our entire region was covered with blue tarps for the next 6 months or more.  We were in a 2 story house and for everyone's safety, we all slept downstairs.  We even pulled our queen size mattress down from our bedroom and slept in one of the hallways.  I watched the chandelier in our front entryway for hours as it swayed in the high winds.  To PJ, it was a gigantic family sleepover, complete with grandparents.  For months afterward, he would ask us if we could have another hurricane.  As he watched us closely, he could see that we weren't really worried and he didn't need to be either. 
I also watched him.  I knew where his emotional limits were and would adjust my attitude and responses to his.  I could see when he was getting truly upset and provide extra comfort to help him get through it.  Of course it was easier with only one.  (I didn't do so well with more than one...but I'm getting better). 
Our heavenly Father is such a great parent in that way too.  He watches us as if He has no one else to watch and He is careful to provide comfort to us when we're about to lose it.  But even more, when we watch Him as closely as our own children watch us, we quickly come to see that he is rarely upset and never out of control.  That engenders trust and we begin to react as He does.  I think I remember a verse about that...
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."  Ephesians 5:1-2
In the Garden, before the crucifixion, Jesus took time to seek out His Father's face and the Father sent the comfort he needed to make it through.  Even though Jesus knew what was going to be involved in giving up his life for us, he calmly went to the cross, "as a sheep to the shearers is silent."  Without seeking out God's face, that would be impossible for anyone.  There are parts of my days that would be impossible without going to God's face too.  I bet there are probably a few parts of your days that are that way as well...

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