Lent with Julian of Norwich #10 – Comforter

At one time my understanding was guided down to the bottom of the sea, and there I saw green hills and valleys, seeming as if overgrown with moss, with seaweed and gravel. Then I understood this; that if man or woman were under the broad waters, if he could have sight of God (just as God is constantly with us), he would be safe in body and in soul, and come to no harm, and furthermore he would have more comfort and consolation than all the world can tell.

Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 10, Long Text.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

John 16:8

There are so many attributes that are assigned to the Holy Spirit, but it is as Comforter that Jesus himself describes him. This is hardly surprising, as Jesus has just spent time explaining to his disciples his Passion; they’ll need comforting. I once heard an amazing story through Open Doors that came from a lady in South Korea. She was arrested for trying to escape from the north and spent time in a prison camp along with her husband. In prison, she said Psalm 23 gave her incredible comfort. When asked to recite it, before she even began, she held up her hand, and the tears came. Even years after prison, God’s Word held so much meaning for her that the mere recitation of it brought a flood of pain and grace. It was a sacred moment to hear her voice as she recited the familiar words.

While her husband was in prison, their children visited him. He wanted to pass on his faith, but there were guards everywhere. So he did something both simple and profound. He wrote three words on his hand: “Believe in Jesus.” Through seeing their father’s love for them and his God, his children decided to become Christians. Their father was later killed in prison for refusing to renounce his faith.

Even when we find ourselves at the bottom of the sea, we can receive more comfort and consolation from God than all the world can tell.

Categories: Devotional, Lent 2019

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