For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus. 2 Cor. 7:5-6
Gracious Father, the incidental pictures in the Scriptures are often as profound as the extraordinary promises. I’m thankful for this picture of a conflicted, tired and “out-of-kilter” Paul being comforted by a good friend. For I begin today feeling a little on the blahs-and-blues side of things. I’m in a bit of a “funk”.
Thank you for reminding me that even your most faithful servants—those who know you so well, those whose grasp of the gospel is a zillion times better than mine—even these men and women experience restlessness, fear, and weariness.
At times I still labor under the myth of an Omni-competence. If I just prayed enough, believed enough, or was filled with the Spirit enough, I would never get discouraged or downcast. What a groundless lie and grace-less myth. What an unnecessary burden and humorless joke. The gospel frees us to be human, not Superman or Wonder Woman.
Father, thank you for comforting us when we are downcast. You don’t deride us, chide us, or hide from us. You comfort us. You’re “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). And thank you for the comforters you send us. Though you’re quite capable of sending ravens and rainbows, and manna and miracles, more often than not you send a Titus to a Paul (2 Cor. 7:6) or a Phoebe to a Paul (Rom. 16:1). You love to show your kindness for your people through your people.
Father, on this gorgeous, early June morning, I’ll wait for your grace as I bring you my semi-weighed-down heart. Help me stay honest about my weariness, expectant of your comfort, and thankful for whomever you send. Once again I’ve discovered that great times of ministry are often followed by vulnerable times of attack.
And make me sensitive to the needs of others around me. I may be more helpful to them in this state of funk than when I feel “together” and “on top of my game.” By the Holy Spirit, point me toward other weary travelers who need a gentle word of comfort, perspective, and hope today. So very Amen I pray with anticipation, in Jesus’ compassionate name.