Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV)
Friend to Friend
The farmers market is crowded this morning. Vegetables in every color are laid out across tables like squares on patchwork quilts. Dogs on leashes strain toward each other or the enticing hydrant on the corner. Babies bask in strollers with dribbles down their chubby chins. Toddlers place one hand in Mama’s and wrap the other around organic all-fruit Popsicles.
Oh dear, there it is. The weekly tragedy. A grip loosened in a moment of forgetfulness or exuberance and that Popsicle falling down, down, down to land with a splat on the sizzling pavement.
Then the tears come, an instant river, followed by the snot and the hollering. Mama leans down, and of course, she says, “Knock it off, kid. You want to know about loss? Yesterday the stock market dropped a bazillion points. An earthquake wiped out a city. The manager at your Dad’s office just ran off with the intern. Again. Let’s put this in perspective.”
No? You don’t like that version of the story? Then how about this one: Mama leans in and speaks soothing words until that river dries up, the nose is not so pink, and the only sounds are a slight sniffling. She speaks until the little head nods and the smile returns and the hand is taken again. Then the two go off in search of another Popsicle, or perhaps something even better.
Sometimes it’s more complicated than this. Sometimes it’s harder and takes longer. But this is the actual plotline I’ve been audience to again and again. This makes sense to us, and even if it’s not what we’ve personally experienced, it’s what seems right to us—that a parent would comfort a child even over the little things.
Yet I will confess I’ve often not expected God to treat me this way. Sometimes I’ve been hurt or faced a loss or found fear catching me by surprise and I’ve told myself, “This is too insignificant to bother God about. It’s nothing compared to what other people face.” Then I think of the news headline, the social media post, or the prayer request, and I tell myself I’m selfish for even thinking I have a right to mourn.
The other day my daughter called and shared a hard thing. Then she said, “I’m sorry for bothering you with something so small.” And I said, “If it matters to you, it matters to me.”
I thought afterward, with a bit of surprise, that this must be how the heart of our God is toward us. He is not waiting for us to get over it, to snap out of it and put on a brave face. He is instead coming for us with outstretched arms to wipe the tears from our cheeks, to pull us close, to whisper loving words until we are ready to take His hand again.
Yes, we need to know nothing is too big for our God to handle. But we also need to know nothing is too small for Him to reach out His hands to us and hold us close.
God, it’s comforting to know that You care about every detail of my life. Thank You for listening, responding, and walking through this with me.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Pull out a piece of paper and a pen. Make a list of your immediate worries and concerns — big or small. Spend time in prayer, visualizing yourself placing each one in His hands.
More from the Girlfriends
Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her devotional Hope Your Heart Needs is filled with 52 encouraging reminders of how God cares for you.