The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(a repeat from 2020, and one of my favorites to have written. Today is the 3 year anniversary of our beagle Ellie coming to live with us, and serving as one of God's greatest blessings in our lives.)
"To Rest In His Heart"
Several hours after writing yesterday's essay about training and building trust in our beagle puppy Ellie, a vivid example illustrated the point. We had service people with noisy equipment at the house, which terrified Ellie. She wandered from room to room, whining and obviously seeking to find a place to escape from the noise that frightened her. She found it, I am glad to say, in my arms. She came up to me and I picked her up and held her close. She continued to whine for a bit, and then finally settled down and went to sleep in my arms.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation" (II Corinthians 1:3-4).
Why does God comfort us? For the same reason I comforted Ellie, but infinitely more. He loves us and desires our hearts to know His peace and assurance. I thought about this as I held Ellie, pondering, "Who is the more blessed by this moment? Ellie or me? I realized I was far more the recipient of the blessedness than our puppy. The more she quieted herself and let her body relax into my arms, the more I felt what can only be described as joy. When I realized she had fallen asleep, I felt my own heart at peace. Another thought then occurred to me: this must be what our Heavenly Father feels when we bring our hearts to Him for assurance. He must love to comfort us more than we desire to be c0mforted.
He does, of course. We matter to "the God of all comfort" far more than we matter to ourselves. He keeps track of the number of hairs on our head, something few of us would do even if we could (Matthew 10:30). Our Father ever seeks to encourage us when we feel down or downtrodden. Like Ellie, however, we play a role in the matter. She came to me, seeking comfort and somehow knowing in her little heart she would find it in my arms. I am so glad she did. We must do the same with our Father, bringing our hearts to Him, and finding Him far more reassuring than Ellie found me to be. We will thereby know how much He desires to be what we need Him to be as the great Friend of our hearts. "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion" (Psalm 111:4).
Several hours after my time with Ellie, I conducted a funeral service for the mother of a dear friend. I had a new story to tell, and one that fit well into the occasion. I told the congregants that in the coming days of need for God's comfort, He would be there for them if only they would bring their hearts to rest in His heart. "He will love to comfort you more than you will desire to be comforted." I am so glad I was able to say that upon the authority of God's Word, and from the experience of rejoicing in the reassurance I was able to provide for a little beagle puppy whose trust blessed me more than my comfort blessed her.
"The Lord Jesus... said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
Weekly Memory Verse
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation.
(II Corinthians 1:3-4).