Monday, December 19, 2011

Comfort and Joy

Anna Dodd's Christmas tree
  This Christmas, I conditioned my spirit to receive "tidings of comfort and joy."
  I have been in need of much comfort this past year. Many times we think about needing comfort when grieving over a loss. Where would we be if our friends and loved ones did not gather around us with soothing words of comfort and an affectionate embrace during our mourning? But we also need comfort for other times... times of anxiety and stress. Times of sickness or uncertainty. Times when our spirit is disturbed because of wrong-doing, whether intentional or not. So often we receive superficial comfort which is a little like a band aid over a gaping wound. This would be a kind word or hug from a friend, thinking intentional thoughts that everything is going to be ok. A sweet song that matches our circumstance, or a well-timed cliche. This is the comfort that comes from outward sources. Personally, I have received all that from time to time, and appreciated it very much.
  The angel on the hillside said he was bringing "tidings of great joy." When the songwriter wrote to the "Merry Gentlemen," he embellished the thought a little, and said they were "tidings of comfort and joy." I think that is a nice addition to the phrase. There is a comfort that I have received that is even more healing than what comes from outward sources. You see, Jesus spoke of the Comforter coming in John 14-16. This is the Holy Spirit. He has come to dwell within our hearts and lives. At camp meetings, we learned that He came to give us power over sin. Let me tell you now that He came to bring comfort to our wounded souls. It seems that so often I am troubled by a burden that cannot be shared with even my closest friends, and I need the comfort that only the Holy Spirit can give. It is so important to actively make my life a place where He is content to dwell. I will endeavor to always make conscious effort to only involve myself in activities that bring Him pleasure. I will do this because inevitably, there will be times when I need His comfort, so I want Him to be happily residing within my soul ready to comfort and settle my spirit every time I need Him.

So, I was not disappointed this Christmas season. How about you?