Posted by: karanoel | November 26, 2018

God of all comfort

After a late-afternoon Sunday swim at a friend’s pool, John, Chase and I pulled into our driveway and tumbled out of the car, happy and relaxed. Before going inside to pilfer some leftovers, the trees in front of our house caught my attention. Once thriving, the branches seemed to be thinning and the leaves browning. I mentioned it to John with a blend of sadness and complaint. Judging by his reaction, I’d already shared this observation – more than once, no doubt. As he graciously dashed off to grab the hose, I stood in front of the trees and started to cry. I didn’t know why it felt like such a big deal. The best I figured was that as renters, we aren’t going to spend the money to replace anything that dies so, like the drought-withered trees in our backyard, that’s just the end of a beautiful space. Which is a bummer, although probably not worthy of tears.

The next morning on a call with my mom, I brought up the trees and I started to cry all over again, harder this time. I said, “I just have this sense of loss that I can’t explain.” She has such compassion for the hurting, no matter how trivial the cause, and gently shared the truth from 2 Corinthians that she just happened to be mediating on: that the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort comforts us in our troubles. We talked at length about His heart for us and the comfort that pours out of it and she prayed for me. It was balm to my soul.

A few hours later, Naval officers showed up at my door to tell me that Cole had shot himself in the middle of the night, between my first and second set of tears. I still marvel at the mercy of the conversation that morning; that my mom and I both had in the forefront of our minds, ahead of the most painful trial we would ever face, the truth that God cares so deeply and wants to comfort us. And He has. In compassion, He has poured more love and grace during this time than I would ever have thought possible. The deeper the pain has gone, the greater the comfort has grown to meet it.

My soundtrack the preceding week consisted of exactly one song that I felt compelled to listen to over and over again, but had no idea why: The Hurt and the Healer by Mercy Me. Once again, I see nothing but kindness in the Lord letting my heart be saturated with comfort before I even needed it. And believe me, I have listened to it a great many times since then, letting my spirit rise with the truth that this great Healer won’t abandon me in my hurt. He is ever waiting with arms open wide to catch me, comfort me and breathe my heart back to life.

The verse from 2 Corinthians continues, “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” My mom’s ability to move with compassion in the lives of others came from the collision of her hurt with God’s healing. And I am trusting that a similar compassion – one that I’ve longed for – is being birthed in me as God’s glory meets my own suffering. My prayer is that His comfort would fill me so completely that it would pour through the cracks and over the top onto others who are hurting too. That, together, our fear would break, our hearts would awaken, our tears would fade and we would find His glory… even here.

The Hurt and the Healer

The question that is never far away
But healing doesn’t come from the explained
Jesus please don’t let this go in vain
You’re all I have
All that remains
So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ll fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through
So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ll fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It’s the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say it’s over now

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ll fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide
Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here


  1. Kara, I am in tears at the words to this song. Thank you for sharing it.

    • It is such a good one!! So glad it touched you.

  2. Beautiful!

    • Thank you Kim!

  3. Wow. This is so so beautiful. YOU are so so beautiful. I know you are right… that YOU are on a path and a journey of becoming able to truly help and reach others in need who couldn’t possibly be helped by one who hasn’t endured unbearable tragedies, and yet allowed those circumstances and experiences to mold them into someone new with such a clearer and keener vision on life and loss and love than you can possibly have if you have not walked those things out. I love you so very much, Kara! And I cannot tell you how proud I am of your choice, and choices everyday, to allow the love and the beauty that is there for you and for your whole sphere of friends and family.

    • What an incredibly kind, loving, encouraging comment! Thank you dear Tara! Love you so much and am more grateful than you know to have you in my life ♥️

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