God of ALL Comfort – Guest Post by Jennifer Mihalick
God of ALL Comfort
II Corinthians 1:3-4 is a beautiful description of God. God is the God of ALL comfort and the Father of compassion. Paul was very generous in II Timothy 3:10-11 to remind Timothy that he has presented himself an open book, to know about and learn from his personal life. Giving God all the glory of every rescue of many persecutions. Looking back over my life there have been a small handful of “themed” problems, but the kind that consume a lifetime.
My mother was diagnosed with Bi-polar when I was 6 years old. My entire life, certainly childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood was consumed with horror stories of things my mother did or did not do. When I turned 21, I was financial able to move out of my parent’s house. It was not a happy time. I was fleeing from hell. I thought if I could just get away from her, then the craziness would stop.
But what happens to someone who grows up in a home like this, they grow up with broken pieces of life, broken pieces of themselves, and broken pieces of who God is. I was no longer in her craziness, I was now entering my own kind of crazy. But my mental unbalance was completely acceptable by the worlds standards. I looked like I had everything together, I too thought I had it all. But throughout life’s natural situations and circumstances, I reached a placed where I could see all the broken pieces.
I had to decide if my Christian faith was what I really believed, because if I did, I had to stop “doing” Christianity and I had to start “being” a Christ follower who believed and walked it all out in faith. What does that even mean? Attend church faithfully? Participate in many church events, volunteer and serve others? I even read my Bible and prayed, a lot. But no healing, no transformation, no moving away from my past into a new promise land. I heard the testimonies of God saving people from drugs, sex, and a rock-n-roll lifestyle. But, I never heard a testimony of God saving a person’s broken heart, when they didn’t even know it was broken.
I never heard someone say God saved me from pride, self-centeredness, and broke down all the installed walls around my entire person. Because really, all that sin was what I used as tools to live my very broken life. Justification can be easy for broken and hurting people. I learned to live that way from the very beginning, I knew nothing else. That is a picture of “doing”, going through the same motions, at the same playground, on the same merry-go-round.
God pierced His way through those layers, He had too. That is what you call a miracle. For eyes to open to things you don’t know exists, to see other options, to realize other choices are available, to look at many different paths, that is only the God of ALL comfort and compassion. I “saw” for the first time the prison I was in. God was not going to leave me there. He not only gave me the keys, but He unlocked the door and called me to walk out. And this is where the “being” began. It takes big faith to believe that God will protect me, guide me, and love me when I leave the only place I have ever known. He has never failed me, not once. His faithfulness extends beyond my natural or spiritual understanding.
As a Man Thinks
When I speak with people, I can see their prisons, and great compassion floods me to illuminate the “other” choices they have, just like I had. The lesson is that people behave in accordance with how they think. But why do they think that way? Taking time to ask, listen, challenge, be an example, and share with them will open God’s light on their life, offering the same keys. And this process may not happen quickly. It may be their journey I get the privilege of walking with them on, only because of Christ redeeming me.
Faith in Action
The second lesson was the lesson of real faith. In speaking with other Christians, my ears hear the ones that truly understand what walking in faith means because they have done it, walked it out, and now I connect because I too have walked it out. There are spiritual cues that the heart and spirit connect to. Others who talk about faith like a proper Christian word, are hollow. I think I read a verse that says Faith without works is dead. When I speak to a Christian who is hollow, my tone changes, my testimony goes to brass tax. They need to see and understand that faith is not what you talk about, but what you become, a faithful child to the King whose words are trustworthy, and completely victorious.
From Darkness to Light
The start of my life was in spiritual darkness, but not the middle or the ending. The world needs to hear and see the tangible work of a God who really is the God of all comfort and the Father of compassion. This leader is no longer afraid to step out and speak up about hard topics. Once we turn the light to hard topics, chains break and hearts and lives can be transformed. I am forever grateful that this God, is my God, and my life has become His.