"But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their afflictions." Job 35:15
I have a Peace Lily that I've had for over 12 years now. It only blooms once in a great while...about once every 1 to 3 years. On Tuesday (the day after my Copper was put to sleep), I was milling around my kitchen talking to a friend on the phone and I looked up at the window and noticed a very new bloom on my Peace Lily. I can't remember the last time it bloomed and I know the bloom wasn't there the day before. Then I noticed a SECOND bloom! I felt like it was a big hug from God, showing me that there is life in my house, even if it's not in the form of my 2 deceased cats.
I sometimes miss the gentle ways God speaks to me daily, namely because I'm not that observant. Oh, I see the beauty in the world, but I don't always realize when God is speaking directly to me. I'm so grateful that God opened my eyes and my heart so I could see that He is here with me, comforting me and that He really does speak to us in our afflictions.
This experience caused me to reflect on why our Father chooses times of suffering to open our eyes and hearts so we can hear his voice clearly and feel his gentle hand more tangibly. For that I turn to Isaiah 53. The entire chapter speaks of how He is so intimately in tune with our suffering...because his own Son went through worse than what we ever will experience. An excerpt, Isaish 53:3-5, captures it beautifully:
"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed."
I don't know that I can adequately express the comfort and peace that came over me when I saw those blooms, but I do know that it has helped carry me through this week. Let us not forget who it is who comforts us in our pain and just how it is that He can understand us so initimately.