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August 8, 2020

Ann Farabee column: Personal delivery


By Ann Farabee
For the Salisbury Post

My day felt as though it had lasted forever and had been filled with problems. I was exhausted — and a little discouraged. I collapsed onto the bed, although the sun was still shining and bedtime was hours away. My mind — and my heart — needed a break.

As I closed my eyes for a few seconds, my thoughts went to when I was a young girl who secretly searched the bathroom closet every night, looking to see if my alcoholic father had hidden his bottle there. My wish was that it would not be there, because I hated how he acted when it was.

As I began to get a little older, I realized I would not be inviting friends to my house — for I had a secret. I dragged that secret to school with me daily, and put it to bed with me at night.

The nights were the worst, when he would start yelling at my mom. The alcohol made him angry. I remember covering my head with my blanket, and trying to go to sleep. I was the child of an alcoholic — and I was scared.

My first night in my college dorm, when I realized that I could sleep peacefully, without being awakened by fear and worry, I determined to become better because of it — and not bitter from it.

Realizing my thoughts of the past were keeping me from the break — and potential nap — I was trying to take in the present, I reached for the comforter at the foot of my bed. As I pulled it up over me, these words from John 14:18 spoke loudly to my heart, “I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.”

God is our comforter — and we are not left comfortless. What beautiful words. But on this day, the last part of the verse is what pierced my heart, “I will come to you.”

The comforter would come to me. Yes, he came to me on this ‘not-so-good’ problem filled day.

And over half a century earlier, the comforter came to me when I was a little girl, trying to go to sleep with a blanket over my head. Even before I knew him, he knew me. He sent blankets of comfort, soothed my fears, and gave me rest.

Looking back on my life, these words from Aiden Wilson Tozer ring true, “I don’t want the world to define God for me. I want the Holy Spirit to reveal God to me.” That is exactly what I believe happened in my life — and probably in yours.

He is the God who will not leave us comfortless.

And he will deliver that comfort to us personally.

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