Cheri's Blog

The Source of All Comfort

source of all comfort

The Source of All Comfort

by Cheri Strange

Not long ago, I met some new friends because we were sharing the platform to tell our stories about how loneliness has impacted our lives. We were going to share the couch and testify to how God has liberated us from the bondage of it looking at it from our own perspectives and experiences. Their stories were moving. Even tragic at times. All cried when we heard them for the first time. We each had been living different lives, some single, others married, some without children, others with, well a lot, but it became clear there was a common theme: God is the source of all comfort when the days are dark.

Between our first meeting and actually sitting on that stage, one of our own in this ministry and a dear friend experienced her own calamity and will bury family members unexpectantly. Another dear friend said goodbye to her father on this planet the following day. And those are the things I know about in my circle.

These women are living out 2 Corinthian 2:3-4 from the marrow of their bones.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

We knew God as the source of all comfort

We knew it like our own pajamas. But none of us wanted to know it or to have the ability to comfort others based on our experiences. No one wants the testimony that requires us to need this kind of comfort. Not one of us wants the know-how to be able to give it to someone else in need.

Once in an interview, I heard Steven C. Chapman’s wife put words to this sentiment. The interview came after losing their five-year-old daughter, Maria, in a tragic accident. She said that people would say things like, “God has a plan,” “Just remember, ‘All things work together for good,’” and “Just think of all the people you will be able to help.” Her response was spot on. She said that she knows and that she gets all that. “I JUST WANT HER BACK.”

On the couch

On the couch beside me sat a powerhouse of a woman who lost her spouse in a calamity none of us would sign up for. She said something similar. In essence, she said, “I want my old life back. I don’t want to be on this couch.” She quoted these verses from 2 Corinthians and talked about how she didn’t want to be able to do this for people. But God absolutely showed up for her, as The source of all comfort when comfort seemed unreachable–just like He promised. In her worst unimaginable reality, God demonstrated Himself to be who He says He is: The God of All Comfort. The God who has been there at every turn.

I don’t know what you are facing or will face tomorrow. Regardless, we need to know Who He is. The God of the Bible is the God of all comfort, the God of all sympathy. He is THE SOURCE of every comfort we need. Unequivocably, He just is.

He is the Source of Every Comfort

God of all comfortWe may not want to need Him to be this for us, but aren’t we thankful He is this kind of God?

These verses come to us as a prayer. A prayer that looks squarely into the deep neediness of the human condition, aiming it to the only One who can meet such need. And that would be enough. The request, then, continues, as if to say, “Lord, don’t make all this awfulness of what we must endure be for nothing. Use it. Use it to serve another who is going through what we have gone through. Let the journey be a testimony to who You are, and what You can do in our worst situations.”

Because this is a prayer, I want to pray it over you—the one who needs to be reminded of The Only True Source of Comfort that exists. The one who can do more than we ask and meet our neediness.

A Prayer for the Source of All Comfort

she praysLord God, I come to You right now thanking you for being what no one else can be, and for doing what no one else can do. I pray for my friend reading that she might begin to understand and know you as the Father of sympathy. That you will be for her, the God Who is the Source of every comfort, every consolation, and every encouragement.

I ask that you will encourage her, comfort her, console her in every trouble or calamity or affliction she may be experiencing or will in the future. And that when you have done so, give her the strength and wisdom to take what she has received  and give it to those who  desperately need it. Heal us to see those around us who need Your comfort, Lord, and move us to act on your behalf.

In the Name of Jesus, and For Your Glory, Amen.

For His Glory,

You can download these four prints today to accompany The Journey for Waiting Well, gain access to all of Cheri’s free resources, AND begin receiving regular encouragement in your inbox.

Yes, I'd love to receive encouraging e-mails from Cheri
When you sign up, you will receive 4, 5x5 Waiting Well digital printables. I look forward to meeting you inside the community! 

Cheri
We respect your privacy.

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

A Prayer for Strong Hands

strong hands

Prayer for Strong Hands

She Prays on Friday with Cheri Strange

Several of my daughters are “grown and flown,” off other places, doing what God has called them to do in this season of their lives. Within the last week, each of them has called to mention how tired they are. There is still much work to do, but little to no drive or energy to do it. Today I want to focus on a Scripture to pray that provides for this need of strong hands to finish what we have been called to do.

These interactions with my girls reminded me of the first time I ran a marathon. I’m not an athlete, but I can put one foot in front of the other for a long time. The training program required long runs each weekend leading up to the race, up to twenty miles. One race day, I put one foot in front of the other for my twenty miles, and realized, there were 6.2 more to go. For slowpokes like me, that left another hour of running, and I was out of steam. In those final miles, my energy was so depleted, I didn’t know if I needed to cry, use the restroom, or spit. My inner drive was gone, my body spent—just like you might feel today.

What can we do when we are exhausted or emotionally empty, and there is still more responsibility before us?

Scripture for Strong Hands

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? Hebrews 12:3-5

 Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:11-12

The writer of Hebrews is familiar with our pain.

He has spent the greater part of the letter lovingly warning his readers not to drift away from a fervent relationship with the Lord. The first verses speak of Jesus, “Consider him who…” This passage is coming on the heels of a series of testimonies about those who demonstrated tremendous faith. He knows we need their example to help us stay on course in our own spiritual races, enduring to the end. And it’s about mile 19.

Those entrusted to him are getting tired. He knows it. They are wanting to quit. So, he points them to Jesus to make sure they are clear on the standard, rather than some lesser measurement.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself

The writer makes a point. “I know you are tired. I know it’s been hard. You don’t think you can take much more, but don’t throw in the towel! Don’t go sit the bench! Do not quit! Don’t walk away thinking this is never going to work just because you haven’t seen it work yet!” Instead, look to someone who has made it across the finish line and now cheers you on to keep going.

Consider Jesus

Jesus did not quit. He did not sit out on the hard plays. Jesus didn’t fake an injury or tell anyone where they could shove their nails. He put one foot in front of the other (so to speak) until He crossed the finish line.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

strong handsA couple of years ago, (before the world shut down), my daughter, Sophia, and I met up with a group in Kenya to go on safari. But it was quite a drive from Nairobi out to the reserve. We were closed inside a  vehicle driving down the center of what looked like solid pavement when suddenly and often, the driver veered off the path to the right or the left to what was NOT a road. Constantly we would bounce around that dirt path until the driver crossed OVER the nice paved road onto the opposite side to do the same thing. We did this back and forth up and down weaving in and around on dirt, through mud and rocks for five or six hours.

There was a straight path available, we just didn’t take it.

Sometimes life can feel like my trek into the savannah. We need this Word to be living in us. Today, let us begin asking for it.

she praysA Prayer for Strong Hands

Lord, I come before you today on behalf of my friend who is reading. I ask that You remind her of the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, and what He endured for her. The jeering, the torture, the scorn, the brutality, the reprehensible treatment He willingly received without so much as a jerk. Give her a picture of what He has done for her so that she will gain strength from His perfect love and obedience. Do not let her quit because she’s tired and spent.

Lord, invigorate her with Your strength. Enable her to lift her hands once again, and bring power to her knees. She cannot do it on her own. She needs You. And even though she might see the straight path and cross over it a few times, make her feet to stay on it, so that the rocky places that have hurt her and caused her pain in the past will be healed.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen

For His Glory,

You can download these four prints today to accompany The Journey for Waiting Well, gain access to all of Cheri’s free resources, AND begin receiving regular encouragement in your inbox.

Yes, I'd love to receive encouraging e-mails from Cheri
When you sign up, you will receive 4, 5x5 Waiting Well digital printables. I look forward to meeting you inside the community! 

Cheri
We respect your privacy.

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

Questioning God

Questioning God

Happy Friday here. Welcome to She Prays on Friday. I’m sitting here with an oversized bandage taped to my chin, due to a medical procedure, protecting what my doctor expects to turn black and blue by morning. I sort of feel like I was knocked silly by the neighborhood bully. Tomorrow I will look like it, which is fabulous because I am speaking at 9:00 a.m. No. This is unequivocally NOT how I anticipated spending my weekend, but as you know, the stuff of life doesn’t always work out seamlessly. At times it leaves us in a quandary, and often worse.

Maybe you have a situation in your life that is not turning out the way you planned? You have been diligent. Faithful. Certain of what your heard God speak over your life. But reality proves differently. You didn’t make the needed scores, or the business arrangement fell through. Your loved one did not recover. They did not select you for the position. Or, the relationship you have agonized and prayed over has gone belly up. These are the perfect environments to cultivate doubt and discouragement, leaving you questioning God. You might think, “WHAT IN THE WORLD are YOU doing, Lord? This is not the way it was supposed to play out.

I can relate 100%. One thing I find to be effective when I’m puzzled, frustrated, or even a little spiritually black and blue is to approach my situation in the same manner we find Habakkuk advancing. This man posed questions before God such as ours.

Habakkuk’s Example

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry, “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Habakkuk 1:2-3

Habakkuk wrote these down and then waited expectantly for God to respond.

I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. Habakkuk 2:1

If I take my cues from Habakkuk, I will write my questions down, likely in a journal. Journaling helps me focus my quandary AND prepares me to wait for an actual response. It could be as pointed as, “What about X? And how about Y? You know, my situation is not working out as I expected. Did I hear you correctly? Am I on the right track?

Often you and I don’t even know how to invite other people into the difficulty. But God, in His kindness, His tenderness, His perfect understanding of who we are, and what we will need, meets us with His Word.

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the LORD; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?” says your God. Isaiah 66:9

Only God knows what you are going through. I cannot imagine the uncertainties, the bewilderments, injuries, and disappointments you are encountering. Likely, you possess a limited understanding of God’s Hand on your present situation and what the future may hold. Sweet friend, you are not alone. Many of us can relate, even if we cannot articulate our puzzled state to another.

What Can We Do When Questioning God?

What we CAN do is take our quandary to the Lord. God’s response to Isaiah is encouraging beyond words. If He ordains it (whatever “it” is in your particular situation), if what we are trusting Him for aligns with His heart and purpose for our lives, then we can take it to the spiritual bank. Your God will be faithful to see all the details through to completion, even if life doesn’t turn out as you and I envision.

Right now, your situation may look impossible. Don’t stop believing in God’s omnipotence. Do not lose heart. Remember with Whom you are dealing. He does not bring us to the edge in order to push us over plunging toward our demise. God’s dealings with us do not need to make sense or work out like a fairy tale. Still. He loves you and will be faithful forevermore.

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the LORD; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”

No.

My Prayer for You Today

Lord,

Some days, in particular situations, questions arise. And when that happens it gives room for all sorts of negative emotions and doubts. We wonder what in the world You are doing. Did we hear You correctly when we thought You told us to move in a certain direction or follow a particular path? All roads forward seem to close in on us and there is not a Plan B illuminated. We desperately want to know if we can hear you? Are you speaking in these areas? Are we on the right course? What should we do now?

So, for my friend, reading, I primarily ask that You grant her the ability to see You at work in her life. Help her recognize the difference between what SHE wants and what YOU desire. Bring these differences into harmony for Your glory. Move her to seek Your face. And when she does –enable her to believe that she can trust what You tell her. Help her know, that in the midst of her predicament not going as planned, You are in it to the finish.

I ask that you answer her questions. But even if you choose not to, show her Your way forward. What is the path that demonstrates a belief and trust in You? Give her confidence in Your Divine power to reveal Yourself and Your purposes to her as you so desire.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thanks for stopping by. I pray we meet again soon.

For His Glory,

 

 

Yes, I'd love to receive encouraging e-mails from Cheri
When you sign up, you will receive 4, 5x5 Waiting Well digital printables. I look forward to meeting you inside the community! 

Cheri
We respect your privacy.

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

If you like the Journey you will like Finding Light

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Becoming a Stronger You when to quit

 

 

 

FREE Stirring Faith Bundle

I want to give you 3 free resources filled with practical help for living out what matters most. Sign up to get my regular emails with more encouragement, insights, and resources to help stir more desire for God in your everyday life. 


We respect your privacy.