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Myers: God’s simple truths comfort better than human reasoning

POSTED: September 7, 2008 5:01 a.m.

As you well know, we've had some real weather excitement over the last week or so. Stormy weather always brings about a trying time in the Myers household. The reason is because Cole doesn't like thunder. In fact, it terrifies him.

Every time it booms, he starts screaming. With tears running down his bright red face, he runs to either me or Amy with his arms outstretched, begging one of us to pick him up and protect him from the noise.

We try our best to comfort him, but it's usually a lost cause until the storm passes and the thunder stops.

This week, I tried to reason with him. While the thunder still rumbled around us, I launched into a detailed, scientific explanation of what creates thunder, how fast sound travels and how we can measure the approximate distance the lightning really is from us.

All of this was lost on the 2-year-old. He cared very little for scientific reasoning while he was scared. He didn't want to hear a factual explanation while his little heart was hammering inside his chest. All he wanted was to be comforted.

Chloe rose to the challenge. Having had her own bouts with fear during thunderstorms, and possessing all the wisdom of her accumulated four years of life, she walked over to Cole, put her hand on his back and started patting him.

"It's OK, Cole," she said. "It's just funder." Immediately, Cole relaxed. His whimpers ceased. He looked at his sister and said, "OK." And that was it.

My initial response was indignation. Who did this little girl think she was? What qualified her to talk to Cole and try to comfort him? She doesn't know any of the technical aspects of thunder, like I do. She doesn't even know how to say it correctly. She calls it "funder," for goodness' sake!

But Cole was listening to her instead of me. Her simple words calmed and comforted him, whereas my complex words did not.

That's when I realized that maybe Chloe was, in fact, the more qualified between the two of us to address Cole's concerns. Chloe met two very important, very specific qualifications.

First, she used to be scared of thunderstorms, so she knew what Cole was feeling; she could identify with his fear.

Second, she loves Cole enough to try and help him deal with his fear, too.

Second Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

On that rainy afternoon, Chloe exemplified these verses for Cole, and for me.

It's neither easy nor enjoyable going through struggles and hardships. But sometimes, with our heavenly father's help, we can take tough times and use them to help someone else who's going through the same or a similar situation.


Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville.

 



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