The God Of All Comfort

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“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me” (Psalms 138:8).

Our God Reigns

Our God Reigns


There is a Divine mystery in suffering, a strange and supernatural power in it, which has never been fathomed by the human reason. There never has been known great saintliness of soul which did not pass through great suffering. When the suffering soul reaches a calm sweet carelessness, when it can inwardly smile at its own suffering, and does not even ask God to deliver it from suffering, then it has wrought its blessed ministry; then patience has its perfect work; then the crucifixion begins to weave itself into a crown.

Realizing the overwhelming magnitude of the gospel work and message, Paul exclaimed, “Who is sufficient for these things?” Who is able to preach Christ in such a way that His enemies shall have no just cause to despise the messenger or the message that he bears?

To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Cor 2:16-17)

There is only one thing that I know of that can carry that kind of message, and that kind of messenger. A personal experience with Christ, that we can relate to the scriptures with, and then flowing out to others that God puts in our path. It has been my experience that the following scripture describes the process perfectly:

“Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we experience. (2 Cor 1:3-6, AMP)

Years ago; I had 50% of my body burned in a house fire. It was a nasty trauma to have to go through. It took seven years to have all the needed surgeries and treatments. I remember my Mother coming to visit me for the first time in hospital. She walked right past me and didn’t even recognize me. There are doctors who have no idea how I survived that experience. In those days it was common for people to just die from such a massive injury like that. Daily bandage changes, and weekly debridement surgeries were my life for months. I remember threatening to kill myself because the pain was so bad. The nights were sometimes worse. I would hallucinate sometimes from all the medication and other procedures. I became very frightened during those dark lonely nights. I didn’t want to live. And yet; I couldn’t give up. I refused to die.  Was I in Limbo? Was I in purgatory?

Someone might ask, well David, where was “your” God when this was all going on? Can you really and honestly say with belief, that He was there? And there was a time where I would have capitulated to that thinking and telling myself that there was only one set of foot prints, and that they were my footprints. If you have ever read the foot prints poem; you will realize that they were not my foot prints at all. I was literally carried, and as Isa 53;4 reflects, JESUS carried our griefs, and our sorrows. But to this day, I still hear people ask: “How on earth can you prove that He was there?” (all the time). This is what I would tell them:

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Back there on the burn ward; I was in strict isolation for many months. The risk of infection was serious and anyone that came in to do treatments had to don the full gamut of gowns, masks, gloves, etc. And during those nights when I was crying and hallucinating, and fearful that I would die alone and crushed, there was a little light. Just a little one. Thats all I seemed to need. There was one nurse, who had a particular quality of goodness to her character. I noticed it right away in how she came in and did my care routines, that ended up saving my life, and in fact, I would say, gave me NEW LIFE. When I was the most afraid, she would stand by the bedside, sometimes even after her shift was over, and she would just say: in the most spectacular quiet confidence: “I am going to stay with you, tonight David until you are not afraid.” It was so wonderful to have that kind of comfort then. I don’t even know how to describe it; except to say that i would fall into a deep, peaceful sleep whenever that nurse was on duty. I really had no idea who she was, or what she believed; except to say she was just THERE. She was PRESENT in a way I had never before seen or heard of.

About 20 years later, I was Christian, and the reason I became one was because I said to myself at one point “whatever that nurse had, thats what I want too.” And so I saw years later, a very similar quality of goodness in the character of some Adventist Christians that I had bumped into somewhere along the way, and again I said to myself, 

“whatever you guys have; thats what I want.”

I had no idea about anyone’s church or beliefs in particular at that time. And so as I said, about 20 years after the initial burns, I went to walk into an Adventist Church in the small town where I used to live and sustained those burns, and guess who was standing at the door of that church greeting visitors? YES! It was that nurse! We both just burst out bawling away because we realized in a moment the enormity of what Jesus had worked out. How Jesus worked out my own salvation and how Jesus, through that nurse, saved me, quite literally saved me. That nurse, was His hands. And a letter she wrote me a few years after that amazing encounter in that church, shows that she, through her own trials, had received THAT very comfort, from Jesus, that she gave me on those dark terrible nights in the hospital. I enclose the letter, verbatim, below:

Letter From [The Nurse]Paris, Ontario, October 27th, 2005

Dear David

Your letter came yesterday. Thanks for your phone number, and address. I thought I would give you a little of my background. Hope you don’t mind.

I went to a small, one room school. It was on Keg lane. While I was at that school, I was bullied because I had very severe buck teeth. Plus, because I went to church on Saturday, the Sabbath, I was picked on a lot. The teacher would always go to her boarding place for her lunch, and so the children were left alone, and this seemed to embolden some. Some of the bigger kids were so mean, they would do things like stuff orange peels down my back. Then they would take my lunch away, and I got very scared. Like so many children back then, who would never tell their parents such things, I blamed myself for what was happening to me. By the time I got to grade eight, I was not well. I had colitis. My parents decided that since I was so sick, there would be no sense in sending me to high school. So at age eighteen, I got a job at the wool factory here in town.

What I tell you next, few people know. In the spring, of around 1944, I had a very unusual dream. It was a very vivid dream. In that dream, my whole future was put before me. In my dream, I was to go back to school and become a nurse. I would marry someone I never knew. And that very summer, a man from Kingsway College who was recruiting students, and he came to our house to see my younger sister. Ruby and I both started school together, in grade nine. I was now 23 years old, and my sister Ruby was just sixteen. God saw me through. I went to New England memorial Hospital, about ten miles out, from Boston Mass. I graduated in 1952.

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In 1954, a very special plastic surgeon operated on my very deformed mouth, and fixed my cleft palate, and buck teeth. When the surgery and treatments were all finished, no one recognized me. I looked like a very different person. After that surgery, and getting partial dentures, I met Roy, who, two years later, became my husband. While at that hospital, Roy & I both studied Ministry Of Healing, and Desire Of Ages. Our teacher stressed to us how each and every patient we looked after was a special person that Jesus had died for.

Now, for you, Dear David.

David, it seems to me that you did come into the hospital a lot for about a year with a collapsed lung.

But when I remember you the most, you came in with severe burns all over your body. It was around 50%.

David, as the blisters and areas began to swell, it was making it very hard for you to breathe. They thought you were going to die a number of times. As I recall, not only that night, but on many others, on my way home; I would pray for you. It was very hurtful to me to watch your dressings being changed; for I knew that it must have been very painful for you. More than one nurse would sometimes be in tears, as they did the procedures that saved your life.The next thing that comes to mind as I write this is those intravenous [Ketamine] injections you had to start getting. They made you feel so strange. I was very surprised one evening when you confided in me that you were afraid.

That evening; I remember that I did not go for my break. I chose to stay with you, and I told you that if you felt my hand on your arm, it would be me, and that I would stay with you until you were not afraid. It is quite beyond me, why you and I connected like this, and I used to pray that if my son ever became sick like this, that someone would be kind to him too.

Oh David. God had a plan for your life. Just like He had a plan for mine.

I am overwhelmed at God’s interest and care in each one of us, personally. Each person is so special in God’s sight. It does not mean that everything will be just right, but through our trials, God is there. I still think of you and your family.

I like to stand in front of my kitchen window and look up in the sky, and remember you and others I pray for and to think what it will be like, when Jesus returns with thousands of angels. Dear Jesus. King of Kings. Lord of Lords.

The way our world is right now, the terrible storms, earthquakes, and crime; His coming is sooner than we may think.

Somehow, God and The Holy Spirit was with me while you were so sick. I don’t really remember most of the ones that I took care of over the years, like I do you. God was just so present, and so loving then. I hope you don’t mind me telling you this little bit of myself.

Wishing you and your family the very best…
most sincerely,The Nurse

It is interesting to note that around the time I got this letter from the nurse, she had just undergone a double mastectomy, and was having trouble with the drains in her wounds. In 1954 when she got that surgery for her facial deformity, it was the year before I was born!

She added a short PS at the bottom of the page that went like this:

I cry sometimes, when I think how good God is to me. I keep remembering how I really cared for you when you were burned so badly, and I would always pray for you on the way home, all the way to my back door.”

Through more than a few tears; I wrote the following short poem that night, after reading the nurse’s letter:

There Is a good purpose and loving design
In the trial and
in all the doubting
all this pain of mine.

Look closely, people of God; and you will find that people are happy, because they are grateful. The opposite of gratefulness is just taking everything for granted. – David

Truly, we are compelled to believe that the word of God is active and living:

“Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we experience. (2 Cor 1:3-6, AMP)

Today; my future is friendly. No matter what happens. My God is my personal Friend. Is your future friendly? Is Jesus your personal Friend today?

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We may reach out to Jesus Christ who is our Advocate in the heavenly courts. (Heb 7:25). We need a Friend at court. Imagine, if you will, having for your “lawyer” or Advocate in “court” on judgment day, Someone who is also  your personal Friend. (John 15:5, James 2:23). We have been sinning, been disobedient, been transgressors, and rebellious, and it is of the highest consequence to us that we have a Friend. I saw that Friend, in the caring hands of that nurse. I see Him throughout my life when I thought there was only one set of footprints, and that they were just my footprints. Through the nurse, through many others, we can all see why Jesus says, “If I be lifted up I will draw all [people] unto Me.” But will all be drawn? Christ draws but will they respond to the drawing? Will they come?

The invitation right in the Book of Revelation is this:

“And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let anyone that heareth say, Come. And let anyone that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let them take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17)

It is said of Abraham in Heb 6:15

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise”

Abraham was long tried, but he was richly rewarded. The Lord tried him by delaying to fulfill His promise. Satan tried him by temptation; men tried him by jealousy, distrust, and opposition; Sarah tried him by her peevishness. But he patiently endured. He did not question God’s veracity, nor limit His power, nor doubt His faithfulness, nor grieve His love; but he bowed to Divine Sovereignty, submitted to Infinite Wisdom, and was silent under delays, waiting the Lord’s time. And so, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
God’s promises cannot fail of their accomplishment. Patient waiters cannot be disappointed. Believing expectation shall be realized.

I stand before you today as one who has obtained that promise from Jesus, that His peace, is bigger than my trials. (John 14:27).

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