“Consolation is the dropping of a gentle dew from heaven on desert hearts beneath.” Charles Spurgeon
We were out for an evening drive and turned the corner onto our final stretch before arriving home. I always liked this part of the road, lined with forest preserves and parks, but this time it was different, straight ahead was a magnificent cumulous cloud. It was huge and hung low like a gigantic fluffy cotton ball appearing at the end of the road. The sun was beginning to set casting pink, orange, and lavender highlights on it. It was amazing. We were all struck by its size and beauty. As I looked at it, I felt a rush of goodness wash over me.
The appearance of clouds had the opposite effect not long ago. We had gone out to the beach and a few minutes later noticed some dark clouds gathering behind us. Before long they moved closer and it became visibly darker outside. Sensing the approaching storm, one by one people packed their things and left until the entire beach was cleared. I left disappointed that our time there was cut short.
If we could sit down and talk right now, some of you would be connecting more with the storm cloud. It’s more than the disappointment of leaving a beach. Life is often overshadowed by real challenges. There are things we are facing that hang low and heavy on our hearts and minds. We may wish that we could get up and walk away but it’s not that easy. The illness, grief, loss, conflict, or uncertainty remain, looming off in the distance whether you like it or not.
However, it is often after you have been acquainted with the dark that you are able to really see the light. It is often when you are forced to take one day at a time and your day gets smaller that you can see the small glimmers of light that change things on the inside. A kind word, a caring gesture, the awareness of beauty are a consolation. They come and it changes things.
Do you know what Jesus did when he finished his work here on earth before he died? He made a very significant promise to us. He said that he would send the Holy Spirit to us and that He would be our Comforter. What does this mean? The 19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon wrote, “ The Holy Spirit consoles but Christ is the consolation” Spurgeon continued, “If I may use the figure, the Holy Spirit is the Physician but Christ is the medicine. He heals the wound.”
Spurgeon continued, “We are not consoled today by new revelations, but by the old revelation explained, enforced, and lit up with new splendor by the presence and power of the Holy Ghost our comforter…. Consolation is the dropping of a gentle dew from heaven on desert hearts beneath.”
In Psalm 94 we see the writer in a time of darkness, crying out for justice and then the clouds seem to part as he remembers “The Lord will not forsake his people” (v 14) “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolation cheers my soul” (v 19)
There is a consolation that is like a rush of goodness washing over us. It is more than the momentary light of the comforts of this world. They are there too — sweet chocolate, a comfy chair with a good book, a warm bath, a walk in nature, enjoying music or time with family or friends. Even more, we have the consolation of knowing we have the medicine we need. Even more, we have the consolation of knowing that whether things are light or dark on the outside, there is more going on in the inside. You have a hope within you. You can receive the medicine you need to be truly alive.
Whatever you face today, you are not alone. The Lord is with you as your comforter. His consolation can cheer and encourage your soul.