I was a little slow entering the computer age, so when a friend gave me her old machine, I was delighted, but fearful.
To be better equipped, I bought the book, Computers for Dummies. As a reasonably intelligent person, I figured with a little reading and practice, a book for “dummies” could certainly help me figure out anything, even a computer. Right? Wrong!
It took many long hours and several days with numerous intelligent, very patient friends to help me do the simplest tasks with this “brain in a box.” My self-esteem was completely shattered. After all, if I couldn’t learn from a book for “dummies: “What does that make me? Less than a dummy?” Don’t answer that, please. I feel low enough already.
I did eventually learn how to perform some simple everyday jobs on this machine. One was learning how to use a computer Bible study program. At the time, I happened to be teaching a lesson on “comfort” which called for looking up examples. So I turned on the computer and asked: “How often does ‘comfort’ appear in scripture?”
The machine hummed for a few seconds and out came the number 69. “Wow, this is great!” I said. “Sixty-nine verses in the Bible offer the comfort of God.” Next, I hit the print button and received five full pages of scripture. That night at the Bible study, each student was given a copy and asked to pick their favorite verse and tell why.
Here are a few examples and their comments:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) She talked of her father dying and how hearing those words at the funeral reminded her of Dad’s loving protection and discipline.
“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him…” (Isaiah 57:18) He laughed and said, “God knows what kind of rascal I am and still offers healing and comfort!”
Two women spoke of Ruth 2:13: “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my Lord. You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant — though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls.” They spoke of the love in their families and in their church family during difficult times.
One man became excited when he found this one. “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalm 119:50) He had been going through a painful marital separation and was looking for direction in his life. He found the comfort of God and the strength to begin putting his life back together.
Another student added: “May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.” (Psalm 119:76) Her children had been difficult that day as she began to cry. Across the table someone quietly read another verse to her. “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you…” (Isaiah 66:13)
You could feel God’s Holy Spirit in the room offering reassurance as scripture began to soothe troubled hearts and quiet frayed nerves. Tears of sorrow were replaced by sighs of relief as our class members experienced the compassion and the love of a God who never fails to offer comfort, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
What crisis have you been experiencing lately?
Have you lost a loved one? Are you worried over your children? Maybe you are experiencing marital difficulties? Have you lost a job? Maybe you are facing some medical problems?
There are verses of comfort for you and it doesn’t take a computer to find it. Just open your Bible and begin to read. Before long you will feel the power of God and the words of comfort will flood the very depths of your soul.
The lesson ended with a reminder from Isaiah: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” (40:1) It doesn’t get any clearer. May God bless you and give comfort.
Now, please pray that I receive comfort as I learn how to work this computer.