“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.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, AMP)
How utterly amazing, jaw dropping, makes my soul sing, is this truth – the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. No exceptions here. He comforts and encourages us in every trouble. The Creator of the universe, the Omniscient, Omnipresent One, Judge of all the earth, the Ancient of Days, this God comforts us, not every now again, not in some situations but not others, He comforts and encourages us in every trouble.
What does it mean then when I am inconsolable or feel inconsolable?
I am thinking of a verse which first appears in Jeremiah 31:15 as a prophecy, and again in Matthew 2:18, when it was fulfilled.
“A cry was heard in Ramah—
weeping and great mourning.
Rachel weeps for her children,
refusing to be comforted
for they are dead.” (NLT)
I cannot think of a greater anguish than that endured by a parent whose child has died, much more murdered. Having known other losses but spared this one, I cannot even claim to imagine the nature of this specific loss. Because of this truth, I pose the comments and questions which follow with the gentlest touch (at least this is my intent and I beg in advance for grace as you read on).
It is understood that the Rachel mentioned in the verses refers to the nation of Israel, and the response to Herod’s mass murders of their sons two years and younger in his attempt to kill the Baby Jesus. Still, my attention has been arrested for a while now by the phrase in Matthew 2:18, “refusing to be comforted.” I have pondered also a question posed to Job by one of his friends, as Job wrestled with the loss of all his possessions and, of greater significance, the sudden deaths of all of his children:
“Is God’s comfort too little for you?” (Job 15:11a, NLT)
What a question! What would cause anyone to ask a grieving father such a question? I do not know the condition of the heart of this friend of Job or the emotions which shaped the question, but I find it to be a sobering one and daresay it is one which no one can answer for us but us.
“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 …” wrote the Apostle Paul. He makes it clear that God is the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in every trouble.
Thomas Moore, in the hymn, “Come ye disconsolate,” written in 1816, issues an invitation, which seems based on the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
“Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”
But is it possible that we can refuse to be comforted by God? Is it? And if we do, what can cause us to reject His comfort? Anger that He Who is omnipotent allowed the unthinkable to happen? I do not have an answer. I am searching as I write.
But if I reject the comfort of the One Who is the God of all comfort, where will that leave me? Seeking comfort in people, places and things which can serve only as temporary pain relievers, at best? And what true comfort can I offer to others given that my ability to comfort others with His comfort requires that I have first allowed Him to comfort me?
He is 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. Comforted by God.
Abba, regardless of the depth of the devastation, regardless of the loss and the radiating pain that remains in its wake, pain which leaves no inch of our being untouched. Regardless … may we never refused to be comforted by You.