The consolations of God - First in a series
All but the youngest Christian can relate to this question: Are the consolations of God too small for you? (Job 15:11)
The older members in the family know that God often fulfills our expectation with something that seems "second-best." Or, after we have made a mess of our lives or others have done that for us, he provides something new or simply a word of help.
Thus, God's consolation
- may come following a "No" answer to a prayer for something we desire greatly, or
- it may be given after we ruin our lives to the point that we cannot have his highest and best, or
- it may arrive as a way of countering what another person has done to hurt us.
As well, God's consolation is poured out continually in the friction or silence of life according to our need.
In American lore, the "consolation prize" is the lesser award or gift to console the loser who did not win first-place, but this may obscure the true meaning of the word. "Consolation" means pity or mercy. The Lord consoles us, not because we are second-best to him in any way, but because he knows our frame and understands our deep need for encouragement and love, specifically, HIS love. When we KNOW he perfectly understands our exact feelings and circumstances, it is a great relief to our hearts. All will be well, no matter what.
Here begins a series on the consolations of God— It will not be a comprehensive listing!
The Series image in the front page slideshow pictures the Church. Often we find consolation there. All photos in the collage are found on the Wikimedia commons site. Photo credits: Not ashamed; Moravian Church; Romanian Orthodox Church; Christ Church of China; Valinhos congregation
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deut 33:27)
God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (Mat 22:32b)