A Comforting Voice

“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. Isaiah 40:1 (NLT)

When I normally think of comforting, I think of times of grief, illness, hospital stays, any kind of loss.

Those are the times when comfort is expected. Most of those times the comfort is given, although it is sincere, it is also stilted and lacks, for the most part, true comfort. The words are not empty, nor are the hugs or holding of hands, but, during those times, the recipient is distraught enough that they accept the comfort but don’t necessarily receive it fully.

This week, I have been acutely aware that comfort is needed daily. Life is tough. Times are rough. The world doesn’t seem as stable as it once was. People are in a state of flux. Things we depended on for years, now look faltering.

The situation I find myself in this past week has only deepened my thoughts on the above scripture. We are commanded to comfort one another. I have tried to do this.

Little Miss has had her world shift into new patterns. Although she has dealt wonderfully with it all, she still needs an extra dose of a comfortable snuggle or hug or tickle. A reassurance that although this season is a different one, the people in her life are still the same people. We are capable of giving an extra hug, playing a game just a bit longer, of listening a bit closer to hear what is going on underneath the conversation. Little ones don’t always come out with what is bothering them. They talk about everything under the sun and then at the end the problem emerges. She has been a trooper through this all.

The adults in this home have also needed an extra dose of comfort. It may be in the form of a meal, a flower delivery, or just quietness together.

Above all, each morning I look out the window and see the sun rise. I hear the normal activity. The Navy jets fly overhead, the neighbor’s dogs bark, the wind blows. These all remind me that through this all, the Lord is near. He is in the little things, the normal things. He speaks through people. He brings comfort.

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NLT)

Yes, this has been a different week. Yet, each and every need has been met. And I know that underneath all that is going on the heartbeat of our Lord is holding this whole situation in His perfect hands, never leaving us or forgetting to care for us.


I have a friend named Joy. To me, she is the living example of what joy is. She carries with her a peaceful and strong faith and hope. She has many challenges in her life and yet, when talking with her, I come away with a feeling of joy. I have often said her mother named her correctly.

Yesterday while I was walking I had the phrase, “Joy comes in the mourning”come to me. I saw the word mourning and thought, well, I spelled that wrong. I was impressed to think about that statement.

I immediately thought of the last part of Psalm 30:5 which says, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (NLT)

This morning, this was in my devotions. I hadn’t planned it that way, it was just what came up. Once more, the phrase, “Joy comes in the mourning” came to mind.

As I have pondered this the past 36 hours, these are the thoughts I have stumbled on. Joy, true joy is a result of difficult situations.

There are several seasons of mourning in our life. Some, in retrospect may seem tiny, but while going through them, they are anything but small.

We mourn broken relationships. Losing a friend is heartbreaking. A part of you that trusted and confided in, is gone. Gone also are those things shared with someone you trusted. Things spoken in confidence only to have that confidence shattered.

A death of a parent. We mourn what we have had taken from us. A part of who you are is lost. There is a void there that cannot be refilled. It is like walking with a gaping hole in your being.

A fractured marriage. The intense isolation that comes with this. The questions that plague you.

Loss of a spouse. I have no idea how this is. I do know that I have witnessed through friends this unbearable ordeal. It is worse than loss of a parent, this is truly losing part of your heart.

But, I believe, through the midst of all of this, joy comes. It may not be the laughing, jovial type of joy, but it is joy nonetheless.

A synonym for joy is comfort. In times of mourning, there is a time where comfort resides. It’s not that overwhelming feeling of laughter, but there is a comfort, an acknowledgement of life being better, richer because of that friend, that spouse, your parents.

These people who are lost are truly gifts in your life. They have given joy, love, truth. We learn vital lessons from them. Our lives are changed because of them.

I am still trying to think through the phrase of joy coming in mourning. I had to get them down so I can remember.

Little Man Lesson #2

(Original post from September 2013, on dearanonymousfriend, my other blog)

Today my dear daughter started back to teaching pre-school.  She was as organized as much as she could be.  We got up, and she got ready to head out the door.

I even managed to keep our dear little man distracted so he did not see his Momma head off to work.  It was a quiet transition and I was so pleased.   I know it made his Momma a bit relieved that there were no tears or drama at the door.

As we started our morning, my phone rang.  It was my daughter… all organized but, wrong set of keys in hand.  Plus I had the fob to enter the building where they live.  She was outside the apartment building and needed the other set of keys.  So, grabbing our little man, I retrieved the correct keys and headed outside.

Jubilation at seeing his Momma is an understatement.  After all, it had been 20 minutes since the last time he had seen her.  We switched the keys and then she did the unspeakable.  She got back in the car and drove off.  She left little man and me standing beside the parking lot.

No, this did not go well.  Not at all.  Little man expressed his displeasure.  He cried like there was not going to be any happiness ever again on the face of this earth.  My heart broke with him.

We walked back into the apartment, all the time I tried to comfort him.  He was not willing to be consoled.

Once inside I looked at him and said, ‘Do you want to read a book?’   The tears dried and off he toddled to pick out a book to share.  He has many good books to share.

What I learned is this.  Yes, I can be broken-hearted.  I can feel like consolation is nowhere to be found.  I can cry.  It’s alright to do all of this.  But, then I can go and read a Book that is wonderful to share.  I can open this Book and sit with One who loves me and cares for me in my broken state.  My tears will be dried and I will be comforted as I sit in my Creator’s lap reading the words He has spoken.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.  Psalm 34:17-18 (NLT)