Yes, it's still cold and more snow is on the way! But I'm so blessed to be in a warm house with a gas fireplace to turn on whenever the living room gets chilled.
So...now that you have the basis of the story from Chapter 24 of Meeting God in Quiet Places: the Cotswold Parables--the spontaneous healing of LaGard's knee after the five black cows followed, then chased him--let's acknowledge that God hears us when we approach Him in fervant prayer for healing, but sometimes may not heal, even though the prayer is an earnest one. Jesus didn't attempt to heal every suffering person during His ministry. And if you're wondering why not, you may rest assured that God's greater concern is about your spiritual health! It may be that God is interested in how you'll respond to having a broken body.
But God doesn't leave you to walk with a broken body on your own. Like the five black cows in the field, who walked along with LaGard, God walks along with you as you deal with your illness or pain or suffering. While you're limping through life, the Great Physician is there with you, whether He heals you or not. He knows what's best for you and deserves your praise.
LaGard says: "I join with the apostle Paul on this one: '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!' It's not God's healing that I cherish so much as his 'beside manner'." And we're reminded of a psalm of David where he says, "As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." Isaiah pictures God as a mother comforting her child: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" As God's children, we should remember that He knows when we're hurting. We should know that He cares. As father, mother, and Creator, God cares for us.
You too would have a warm feeling, if you thought that five cows had watched as you were walking, noticing that something wasn't right. How much more should you have a warm feeling when you know of a certainty that the Creator of the universe truly cares for you? Isaiah was overjoyed to think of God's comfort: "Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones." The Creator of the universe deserves our praise!
But now we go to another level as we learn that God's comfort is one of those "pass-it-on" things. The apostle Paul says that God comforts us in our troubles "so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." What? you say. You may even protest, saying that when you're down, you're not in the mood to comfort others. Well, it's not unusual for God to give us something to do as well. More on this tomorrow.