Comfort my people: speak to their heart.
This is the second in a series of reflections on God’s comfort and our neediness.
2. Just what is our neediness?
Many of the things that cause us suffering come from our own personal habits and weaknesses. These can undermine our lives, destroy our relationships and give us a sense of unhappiness.
Often these reveal themselves in habits that we don’t take seriously: gambling problems, an inability to talk about our problems, being demanding or rude…the list can go. You probably know some of your own…and maybe over the years have tried to deal with them. If you have been ‘successful’ you will have discovered that the real issue is not the problem you first thought you had but actually it had a deeper, and often different, cause.
I had a grandmother, who would put up with a lot and then explode over what seemed like a small incident to others. She would then say or do something hurtful, often with long term effects. Looking at her behaviour, I came to realise that the issue was not her anger but the continual putting up with unjust treatment. She needed to take a stand earlier when too much was being demanded of her. For her, stating her case when she was calm was harder to do than when angry. But for her own happiness, and others, it was needed.
When we are stuck in negative behaviour and wonder why God isn’t giving us the strength to overcome it, we may need to ask: what is the real issue here? What is the underlying problem causing this pain and failure. When we come to face squarely the root cause, then we may discover God’s comfort finally strengthening us to deal with it.
Loving God, you know that often we feel our lives are a mess and that we are overcome by our weaknesses. Send us the strength of your Spirit and the wisdom of Jesus to know how to face our pain and failure and turn it into a place where your love abounds. We ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear us.