Blind in the USA devotionals

When we need refuge and comfort

Our younger son Shaun developed a very competitive attitude for sports even at an early age. His first organized sport was "tee" ball, and he played with great enthusiasm. I don't remember now if I attended all of his games, but I did go to probably most of them, with Carolyn giving me descriptions of Shaun and some of the other very enthusiastic players on his team. By this time my eyesight was such that I couldn't see any of the activity on the field, but I heard a lot of the "chatter" the coaches encouraged the fielding team to keep up for their own alertness and to unsettle their opponents. . Shaun once told me that he just wanted to see what it was like to hit the ball off the tee, so he purposely missed ten times in a row. For those unfamiliar, the game is designed to encourage the very young players by making sure that every one who comes to bat gets to hit the ball. If they cannot hit it when it is pitched, it is set upon a large tee that holds it in the strike zone for them to give it a whack.

Shaun's team did very well throughout the season, and the final game pitted his team against the other top team in a playoff to decide the best team. Shaun's spirits were high as he started the game fully expecting that his team would win. It was a close game and very exciting for the young players and for all the spectators, consisting principally of family and friends. When it came down to the final inning, Shaun's team lost, and Shaun came running off the field, as a few people told him that he had done a good job, including his mother, who was standing by the bleachers. But Shaun ran straight to Dad, and plopped himself on the bleacher between Dad's legs and hung his head. The little guy was crushed and just wanted to be where he didn't need to face anyone or talk about it just then. As his Dad I understood his feelings, so I just hugged him and let him sit there for a little while until the crowd began to break up and leave. His coaches and a few others passed by as they left, with encouraging words that brought little response from Shaun. Shaun bounced back from this big disappointment for a little guy, and soon he was on to further exploits in sports that carried on through his high school years.

No matter how mature we think we are, there can be those times when we feel disappointment with a multitude of mixed thoughts, and it is really good to have complete confidence that we have someone we know will give comfort that goes beyond the point that words can express. As my boys were growing we hugged a lot, and I would tell them, "You never run out of hugs." Our heavenly Father is like that to me, and scripture tells us we in turn are to comfort others. His mercy and love endures forever, and he intimately knows our fears and failings. He has given us the Holy Spirit to be our constant comfort, and in times when we don't even know how to pray he utters those deep feelings for us. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus, he sticks closer than a brother! Thank you Lord for being such a tender heavenly Father who never runs out of hugs for your children when they come to you for comfort. Amen.

Scriptures of comfort from the 1769 KJV

Psalms 94:18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. 19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

Psalms 69:16 Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.

2Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

1Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Published 11 April 2006