“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.”
— 2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-4 (NRSV)
How do we unpack this package of consolation in the matter of affliction?
We go to God. But then there are those of us who have no idea on how to go to God, but then there is a second element we need to consider; a second element that helps with the first element:
As we help those with the help we have received from God, God helps us all the more.
The second element—that of helping—augments the first element. It gives the first element traction.
It is a simple matter to go to the God of all comfort; we go when we are weary, when we are estranged to hope, and when matters of life are beyond us. As we draw comfort from God, God shows us how to comfort others in their distress.
But first we must learn to go to God; it starts from us. This is the practice of repentance; this is about going to the spiritual location of Faith Central.
Pulling into Faith Central
As if steaming into a station, a locomotive with a consist of wagons, a rake of railcars carrying the burdens of life, we pull into Faith Central, and we slow down... and stop. We have made it to the station. We are home. We have made it back into the heart of God. And God will meet our needs there like absolutely no other.
The moment we are stopped all passengers disembark, alighting for their individual journeys; these passengers are our burdens. We are in the practice of seeking consolation for our afflictions and we do it best in silent contemplation.
Having pulled into Faith Central, having stopped and allowed the burdens of life to disembark, whilst praying diligently, in moaning and tears as and if necessary, we draw close to the comfort of God—to the God of all comfort.
Having pulled into Faith Central we have practiced the ancient art of repentance.
Those who routinely repent know precisely how to encourage others to repent without mandating it. They encourage others to pull into Faith Central, where the God of all comfort will comfort their friend, by the comfort they themselves have received.
Once we have drawn comfort from God in our affliction we seriously want that comfort to abide in others. The God of all comfort will console us in all our affliction as we draw close. He is drawing us into Faith Central—a train station of spiritual locale where we can stop, contemplate, and receive the comfort we need. It is Safe Sanctuary. Go into the Heart of God.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.