Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Sometimes we all have those patches in our lives when we just feel miserable and unhappy. It might be because a friend or relative has died. It might be because of personal illness. It could be because we’re not happy at work. It might be something as basic as the weather. I know from personal experience it is easy to question our faith, and to wonder where God is in all of this. When I was in my late teens, I went through a period where, although if you had asked me if I was a Christian I would have replied in the affirmative, I really wondered where God was. I now realise that God was there all along, watching over me, caring for me, and hoping desperately that I would talk to him, to tell him how I feel, and to share my burdens with him.
As we approach Christmas and begin to think about the birth of Jesus, it is easy to get caught up in the romance of it all – the birth of a baby in a stable, the visits of the shepherds and the wise men, the star and the donkey. As we’ve recently seen in our Mark Marathon, however, Jesus was much more than just the baby we think about at this time of year. He holds a vital place in the Trinity of God. He was there at creation, he died and rose again to save us from our sin, and he will judge us on judgement day.
One of the reasons why Jesus came to be with his people, though, is to offer them comfort. He came to offer comfort to nations, but he also came to offer comfort to individuals. The gospels are riddled with examples of individual people whom Jesus came alongside and offered them comfort, whether it was healing, forgiveness, or even just friendship. So too he offers us comfort when we are tired and stressed, lonely or upset. He offers us comfort in the here and now, but also in the promise of future hope, that one day we will be with him in a new creation.
So when you do feel in need of comfort, don’t push Jesus away. Tell him how you feel. Tell him your worries and concerns. He does listen. He does love you. And he will offer you comfort.