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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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Whom do you rely on for comfort and reassurance?

Whom do you rely on for comfort and reassurance?

A Peanuts comic strip featured Snoopy acting very troubled.

Charlie Brown senses Snoopy’s anxiety, reaches out to Snoopy and says, “Are you upset, little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don’t worry. I’m here. I’m here to give you reassurance that everything is all right. The sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you!”

Then, sending Snoopy off to his dog house, Charlie says with strong affirmation, “Be reassured!”

In the last panel, Charlie is in bed under his covers and says to himself, “Who reassures the reassurer?”

That’s the good question. We probably do a good job of comforting others when their lives are caving in. We offer them our support, our willingness to help in whatever way we can, our assurance that we will stay with them throughout any tragedy. We know that just being present and listening to them, offering a loving smile and affirmative words can go a long way.

What about us? As we lie in bed and consider our troubles, don’t we long for some reassurance ourselves? Like Charlie Brown, we may ask, “Who reassures the reassurer?”

This is generally when we call out to God. For when we experience the comforting presence of the Lord, we are most likely to find the inner assurance and strength that we so greatly need. God’s care is total. In Christ, we see clearly that he is the Good Shepherd who cares for his followers.

God is trustworthy. Death may come, but it will not be God’s final word. We can trust that Christ will lead us to safe pastures even in the midst of life’s troubles.

St. Paul is an example of a Christian who placed his troubled life in God’s eternal hands. In his letter to the Christians at Philippi, he says, “I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:11-13)

Paul knew that he belonged to Christ and nothing could sever that relationship, not even death itself. Paul had simply placed his entire life in the hands of God. He knew the comfort and lasting assurance of the eternal reality.

Johannes Tauler was a devout 14th century German Christian, who was inwardly jolted by some words of a beggar he met one day. Tauler greeted the beggar by saying, “God give you a good day, my friend.”

The beggar replied, “I thank God I never had a bad day.”

Tauler thought a moment and said, “God give you a happy life, my friend.”

Gently, the beggar answered, “I thank God I am never unhappy.”

“Never unhappy?” asked Tauler. “What do you mean?”

The poor man answered, “Well, when it is fine day, I thank God. When it rains, I thank God. Since God’s will is my will, and whatever pleases God pleases me, why should I say that I am unhappy when I am not?”
Tauler was stirred by the man’s words. Finally, the saintly man asked the beggar, “Who are you?”

The beggar responded, “I am a king!”

“Where is your kingdom?” asked Tauler.

Smiling, the man with ragged clothes said softly, “In my heart, in my heart.”

He had learned to consider his life in the eternal reality. It didn’t matter how poor he was, he had found eternal security.

That is the kind of security each of us must obtain. Let us listen to God’s voice and respond accordingly.