This week’s reflection comes to us from Mr John Dodd.

Dear friends,

It is lovely to be able to write again for you and offer a few thoughts, although at the time of writing it is uncomfortably hot, which has set me thinking about things that can make us uncomfortable, like thunderstorms, floods. There are many things of course connected to the current pandemic: face masks; people who do not socially distant; crowded beaches and pubs etc. besides the actual feelings when one is physically ill with any disease. Then there are the uncomfortable feelings when confronted with things that we do not agree with or that push us out of our comfort zones: e.g. racism and treating any others unequally; the plight of refugees; people suffering from manmade or natural disasters …

It was then brought home to me how we cope with uncomfortable situations, when I witnessed my 9-month-old grandson being reassured and comforted by his mother when he became upset. We all rely on relationships with others at times, to calm us down, offer support and to comfort us, especially our parents and I think that remains true whatever age we are. But of course the greatest comforter of all is our Father God.

He knows all our worries, troubles and the things that make us uncomfortable, even before we do sometimes and will always be there to comfort and unconditionally love us. There are many references in the Bible to God as a comforter, but I find 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 to be particularly helpful:

 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Of course, it is better if we do something if we want comfort from God. How could a doctor help us if we never made an appointment to see him? The Scriptures urge us: “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”​—James 4:8. Last time I wrote about the Real Life course and how it encouraged me to draw closer to God in my daily reading of scripture and prayer. Prayer is such an important part of our relationship with God and can be such a comfort. “Do not be anxious over anything,” the Bible advises us. Rather, it says, “let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers.”​—Philippians 4:6, 7.

I pray that whenever you are feeling uncomfortable, you will know the comfort that drawing close to God will bring.

John Dodd