Finding My Way on the Road to Comfort

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Last Wednesday as I walked the two blocks from my office to the parking garage, my mind was extremely occupied (read: worried) over a friend who is battling cancer. I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings, and was really on “auto-pilot” as I walked when suddenly, a young woman stepped into my path and caused me to stop short (so that I wouldn’t run into her). She said, “You have such a beautiful smile that I had to stop you to tell you that you made me smile!” And just that quickly, she was gone. I stood for a moment, totally perplexed…

Friday afternoon, I sat in the chair at my friend Grace’s salon, getting my roots touched up. (Sorry folks, the red isn’t natural.) It had been a heck of a week and I was feeling exhausted and more than a little beat up after working a thirteen-and-a-half-hour day the previous day. Imagine my surprise when, over the sound of the hair dryer, I heard Grace (pictured above) say, “Your energy is so peaceful today!” My shocked eyes locked on her face in the mirror to see if she was kidding. She wasn’t…

Today, I drove home from work in the dreary gray late-afternoon. I had spent much of my day working on a memorial book at work, which, for the record, is a project that in some ways I really enjoy. But today’s stories were sad… And then came the news that one of our long-time volunteers will be entering hospice care tomorrow. My spirits were flagging when I suddenly began to hear Keith Green singing in my memory…

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want/He makes me lie down in green pastures/He leads me beside the still waters/He restoreth my soul and guides my path in righteousness for His name’s sake…

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death/I will not fear thou art with me/Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me/Thou prepares a table before in the presence of my enemy…

It’s from Psalm 23, which most of us (including me) have heard so many times that I think that sometimes, the actual meaning of it bounces off of our ears and doesn’t reach our hearts. But today, I felt like I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death – so many people around me are sick and hurting. And as I sang along with the Keith Green of my memory, my heart was crying out, “We need comfort!”

Now, for the record, there have been times that I have cried out for comfort that the comfort felt farther away from the far end of infinity – and that God felt even farther away than that. Each time I was abused. When my brother was shot. During fights with my ex. When I had my wreck. The list goes on…

It’s good to know I’m not alone in that feeling. In Chapter 1 of Fight Back With Joy, Margaret Feinberg says that as she faced breast cancer she felt the same. She said, “I wondered where God was in all of this.” (Kindle book location 218)

But I think that I’m seeing growth and maturity and change in myself. I’m crying out for comfort – and I’m finding it. I still feel the pain. But I sense God standing near me, holding the heavy end of the load I’m carrying, and stopping every so often to wipe my tears.

He’s awesome that way.

This post is part of a weekly book discussion, but feel free to browse, read, chat, etc… whether you’ve read the book or not. If you have written a response to this week’s chapter, go visit my co-facilitator, Jason, to link it up at the widget!

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Comments

  1. Barbara Capps says:

    Your first encounter about your smile, I believe was an Angel… Sent at just the right time.. And as the Psalm says, ” you WALK THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death”.. You don’t dwell there… Yes there is strength there that you may never have realized you have, but I know I have seen it in you… And I know God is there every step of the way…Love ya!

  2. Keith Green has one magnificent voice — I hear him singing in my memory as well. And God was always there.

  3. Isn’t it great when others see the growth in us that we sometimes miss? It’s like God is speaking through them, helping us see the things He sees in us, the progress we are making in learning to rest in Him and walk in His Spirit.

    God is with you. Keep shining His light. It’s His light and it’s already inside you. You really don’t have to “do” anything but be His and walk with Him for others to see that light.

    Blessings to you!

  4. I love this confirmation that even our emotions don’t dictate our state of being. What I mean is, you didn’t peace but you were projecting it because of the wonderful God inside you. That’s awesome. We all need comfort, but He is the Comforter. Thanks Sarah (by the way, I don’t think our posts this week could have been more polar opposite). :)

  5. Sarah, joining you today to lift those that are hurting up to our in prayer. Thank you for sharing that song. Such a wonderful reminder for me today!

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Glynn, wasn’t it Dallas Holm that sang a song, “He was there all the time.”? It’s true. He was. He is. He always will be.

  7. Sarah Salter says:

    Oh, TC, God totally spoke through them! Every time I turn around, I am hearing from Him through others. And I’m so grateful!

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    LOL! Jason, I think it’s kind of refreshing that we’re different this week. There’s nothing wrong with that! And your post wasn’t nearly as scary as it seemed from the title. :-)

  9. Sarah Salter says:

    Thank you for coming by, Margaret! And thank you for the encouragement and prayers! This book is turning out to be such a timely read for me. And God is really speaking! Thank you for letting Him use you!

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