Sunday, November 15, 2015

An Oasis of Peace and Comfort

What is it about toddler drools and shrieks that say “pay attention to me”, and quiet snuggles that bring a sense of peace to the soul?  How can one snuggly little grandson and his kindergartener brother make the world turn right side up in the blink of an eye?

In less than a week, my life was full of “ordinary drama”….you know, the stuff that does not make for headlines in the newspaper but immensely affects my life.  It started with a cold coming on before heading to see my west coast family; it continued with a looooong flight (three airplanes).  Hours after I arrived in Portland, my daughter-in-law’s father passed away while she was out of town at a conference where she had major responsibilities including multiple presentations. 

My cold worsened but the needs of my family did not diminish and I wanted to accomplish what I came to do; that was to help keep things running while my son and his wife met their obligations.  So I asked God for energy, in spite of my coughing and fatigue and…no surprise, I had all I needed.

A couple of days into my visit I had word from home of another death in my church family; not unexpected but unwelcomed all the same.

And now there is Paris.  Unbelievable sadness in the face of evil.  More reasons than ever to trust in a sovereign God.  Another reminder about the brevity of life on this earth, the sin in man’s heart, and the need to share the hope we have in Jesus every opportunity we have.

So, back to the title of this post.  God’s provision for “peace and comfort” came in the form of a small child, snuggling on my chest, post nap.   This beautiful little boy is less likely than his brother to hug and snuggle; he has much more of a whirlwind approach to life.  That day while his brother was at school, I had the wonderful opportunity to see life through his eyes. (Thus the need for added energy!)

Gus takes wonderful naps, wakes up happy and ready to go.  He had no knowledge of his grandpa’s passing….or did he?  We all know a child that age understands only what is happening directly to him in the moment.  But could it be possible that a God of great creativity….the One Who knit each of us together in the womb….could it be that somehow Gus knew it was a time to bring comfort?

The baby monitor indicated Gus was stirring and talking, so up I went into his room.  He had that sleepy-eyed look with his little curls framing his sweet face.  I changed his diaper and we headed downstairs to the living room.  Since he was still a bit subdued, I sat with him on the couch, fully expecting him to pop off my lap and take off with the rest of his day.

What happened instead, for at least 30 minutes, defied logic.  This sweet little guy, who ordinarily has better things to do than snuggle…snuggled.  While he pulled his arms into his body (against my chest) and rested his little head on my shoulder, I began to pray….out loud but in a very quiet voice.  I thanked God for every blessing I could name; I petitioned Him on behalf of others; I praised Him for Who He is.  It was as though Gus knew we were sitting at God’s feet, experiencing a divine moment.  It was beautiful.

God’s Word has much to say about His gift of comfort.  Look at Psalm 4:8, John 14:27, John 16:33 and Matthew 11: 28-30, for starters.  He tells us to cast our burdens on Him; I believe Gus and I entered into a burden-casting moment when we talked to God that afternoon.

If we live more than a few years on this earth, we can almost be guaranteed sadness, pain and loss.  But God brings us these wonderful windows of opportunity to experience His peace and comfort.  Those moments are to be treasured, banked and re-experienced when life gets dark and difficult.  This week my “ordinary” moment was transformed into an “oasis of peace and comfort”.  God is good…all the time.



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