by admin on October 12, 2015

Hi to My Butterfly Testimony family and friends! I am so sorry I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve been dealing with a big family move. I’m overwhelmed. And, when I get this way, I crave comfort foods, especially hot tea (chai) with milk. But God is the true source of our comfort. And that’s what I’m writing about today. So go get that hot cup of tea, and let’s get cozy together…

IN THE CHRYSALISIsolate butterflies of a handprintsCOCOONING COMFORT

LifeCycle Devotions
© Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]*.

“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. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

My mom lay cocooned in the hospital’s blue blankets. As I waited with her, and watched her, I knew she was in her chrysalis. Her lover of 54 years was gone. He had left her. Not physically, but mentally. And it broke her heart.

Over the last month, we had been searching for caregivers for my dad. He has Dementia. I hate that word. The dictionary defines demented as one suffering from dementia. My father is not demented! He is ill. He had become too ill for her to care for, so we found a care facility for him to live. In two days, he was scheduled to move in. The loss of him, not so much to the facility, but the physical loss of him as her lifelong love, was just too much for her heart to bear. She was admitted into the hospital with chest pains.

This wasn’t the first time, though, for her, for me, for my brothers. Blocked arteries run in the family, and we all have stents that hold our veins open for the blood to flow. She had one more stent placed. We have lost count. More than a dozen.

A couple of hours after the angioplasty procedure, the nurses remove the sheath (a thin plastic tube in an artery) from her leg. There is a risk of a vasovagal reaction when this is done, but it is very rare. And she had never had it before. But I had. A vasovagal reaction causes the blood pressure and heart rate to drop suddenly. While my mom’s heart rate dropped into the 20s and the hospital bed tilted my mom head first, there were five nurses and a doctor tending her. My mom’s primary doctor wasn’t scheduled to be there, but happened to show up just at the right time. One nurse’s job was simply to console her. “Your alright. Don’t listen to the loud beep, it means your doing great!” She reassured her repeatedly as she stroked her forehead. Another nurse had his hands on her wound, giving pressure for more than an hour. His wrists would be sore that night.

My mom lay cocooned in comfort, with hands all around her. She was in His hands. This I knew with such calm. I should have been frantic. “Where’s her daughter?” the doctor asked nervously. “She’s sitting on the couch,” the nurse replied someone puzzled. Perhaps I should have been on my feet helping. Perhaps I should have been on my knees praying. Perhaps I should have appeared worried. But I prayed, and I was supernaturally calm.

Afterwards, my mom mentioned that I seemed really calm. She doesn’t even remember being put upside-down in her hospital bed, but she remembers I was calm. I thought about it, because it did seem unusual for me. Was it comfort from above? Certainly! And I knew that she was in good hands: God’s hands. And also, the fact that I had been through it before and overcame it took away my fear and enabled me calm in the chaos for my mom’s sake.

Perhaps this is what is meant by the verses above in 2 Corinthians, “…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. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

And so it flows. From God to me (and the hospital staff) to my mom. Directly from God too. Our struggles, or chrysalis, confines us. But during it and from it, compassion grows and comfort flows. Overflowing love is a cocooning warm blanket that all need to snuggle up to from time to time.

Don’t let your trial be for nothing. Whatever your current circumstance, take the love and comfort that God offers you. And, when your strength is renewed, pass that love and comfort on to another. It is by recognizing God’s hands on us that we can then lay hands on another. Comfort comes from the covering of compassionate hands.

Dear Lord, thank You for your comfort during tough circumstances. Help me to see your presence through the people who love and surround me.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

To Consider:

Think about a former struggle. Reflect on the ways that God comforted you during that time.

Now, think about someone you know who is facing a struggle currently. How might God work through you to comfort that person?

Transforming Verses:
Read and reflect on Psalm 119:50-52.

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law. I remember, Lord, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them.

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