On a fairly regular basis, my four year old little girl will come to me in obvious emotional distress. She will have that just-about-to-cry look on her face as she climbs into my lap, cuddles in close and says with a dramatic sigh, “Dad, I’m just havin’ a wuff day.” And though her “wuff day” usually involves extremely minor issues from my perspective, I hold her and comfort her and let her know that it will be ok. Typically, before I am even done enjoying the moment she is back in cheerful little girl form and off to discover some new drama.
I must confess that there are times when that little scenario is an inconvenience and I let it annoy me, but recently I have realized how often I am just like her. Truth be told, we all have rough days and we all need to be comforted from time to time. I am thankful for wonderful people in my life that I can turn to when things are rough, but I am even more thankful for a Heavenly Father that is always waiting to take me in His arms and offer comfort.
One of the primary ways we receive this comfort from our Father is through His Word and one particular passage God has used in my life recently is 1 Peter 1:1-6. Peter is expounding the wonders of God’s character and then says “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.” This is where the truth of Scripture and my experience with my daughter have collided to teach me a valuable lesson about my own suffering.
You see, my little girl comes to me just because I’m “Dad”. She has no real expectation that I will change anything or that she even has a fixable problem. She just knows that in that moment, Dad can make it better. She illustrates what I believe Peter is expressing: I can have joy in my most painful circumstances because of Who I am able to turn to for comfort. My comfort and my joy are not bound to my circumstances, but to my Father.
To paraphrase Peter, He is my Holy comforter who knows me intimately. He is a gracious and merciful Savior who is all powerful and forever faithful. He is my protector and He is ready and willing for me to come to Him in my need. That is where I find comfort and joy in my time of suffering. All I need to do is take a page out of a little girl’s playbook and go to Him as His child. He cares and He is more than able to give comfort no matter how rough life has gotten.