Each one of us has had a time when we have been very, very brave.
We have stood against a very hard enemy. We have faced the foe. We have gulped down our fear and moved forward. We have swallowed our tears in order to minister to another.
But when we get home from a day like this, or when we come to a Sabbath rest from a season like this, we crumple in a heap and have a good cry.
It is at times like this when the words, "Comfort, comfort..." encircle us like two loving arms. It is at times like this when we need someone to speak tenderly to us and let us know "It is all over; you don't need to be strong any longer. I am here, I will take over for you."
I remember a time when my children were both very young. I was fighting cancer. My dad had just died. My hair had fallen out. I couldn't keep any food down. The laundry was piling up. I was overwhelmed. I thought nothing else could come and hit me. And them my children came down with the chicken pox. I sat on the living room floor feeling as though I could not go on.
I remember someone coming to me in that moment, putting arms around me, walking me up to my bedroom, pulling a blanket around me and telling me to sleep. That someone told me, "Do not worry. I am here. I will take care of everything. You rest." Later, that someone brought up a cup of tea and spooned the warm liquid into my mouth. When I asked about the children, she shushed me, telling me everything was under control. I sank back into my pillow and slept deeply.
Jesus said, "I will send you the Comforter." Many have been the times the Comforter has soothed me with the still small voice. Many have been the times the Comforter has soothed me with the hand and presence of a brother or sister in faith. Many have been the times the Comforter has brought up to me the wonderful words of life. Many have been the times the Comforter has given me Sabbath rest.
Praise be to the living God.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.