God is not a teddy bear

heb-12.7My bible study passage today was from Jeremiah 8 and it started with verse 18, “You who are my Comforter in sorrow.” 

It made me so thankful again that God loves me so much and is with me through everything.

People have and will always let me down, and I have let them down; not necessarily deliberately, just because we are all weak and imperfect humans. So I’ve learned to be in constant cycle of “I’m sorry”  and“I forgive you”.

But God is perfect love! He’s always faithful and never leaves me. He is my comforter. I love that God’s comfort is not a wimpy ‘awww there, there’  kind of comfort, offering me some temporary patchwork quilt of pacification, but it’s a deep comfort that reaches to the dark corners of my hardened heart; strong and strengthening and transformational.

It has struck me many times that in Psalm 23 it says “Your rod and staff comfort me”, and not “your teddy bear comforts me”.  Why is it that comfort comes in the form of something potentially quite hard and disciplinary? A rod is a tool of a shepherd “by which He leads His elect sheep to the green pastures and still waters” (I’ve nicked that quote from here).  But it occurs to me that the touch of the rod allowed the sheep to know exactly where the shepherd was as he guided them to keep them safe from harm and protect their value. I love this analogy!

At times God’s discipline (rod) has been very hard for me to bear; especially over the last few years as I’ve come out of addiction. Oh baby has it been hard! But alongside that I’ve become acutely aware of ‘where God is’ in my life, and how far away from Him I had wandered off! So yes it’s been discipline, but within that discipline has been immense comfort and peace, because I now know He does it all because of His immeasurable love and mercy for me; because He wants me for a purpose. Me! Actual me.

I’m reminded of a quote by C.S. Lewis; “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”

Yup, sure do 🙂

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