The day is overcast. My mood is downcast. It seems like every phone call I answer, every bit of news I read adds to the weight of the grayness of the day. A cold and some chronic health issues I have add to the gloom.
I read my Bible passages for the day and find, in 2 Corinthians 7:5, “…but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.” And then in verse six, “Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.”
God comforts the downcast. I wonder exactly what the definition of downcast is. So I look it up in my old Webster Dictionary. It means…
- Directed downward
- Sad; very discouraged; dejected
I feel downcast. I’m sure other people have better reasons to be than I have. But I do feel a definite “downward directedness”. God says He comforts the downcast. I pray and wait. And like the woman in the old “Where’s the beef?” commercial, I wonder…where’s the comfort?
I feel drowsy and discouraged. I take my I-pod and crawl under my cozy blanket. I listen to songs of praise and hope as I almost doze off. As I lie there, soaking in the songs, I realize I’m lying on a quilt my daughters made me one year for Christmas. A quilt stitched with hours of time and threads of love.
And the fuzzy nap blanket that’s over me was a gift from one of my sons. And my pillowcase was embroidered by my mother-in-law. And the I-pod was a gift from my husband.
I think about how I am cocooned in gifts of love that are just symbols of the real relationships that surround me and hold me up. And my heart warms.
And it points me back to the Bible verse—God sent comfort by sending Titus. He didn’t send an angel or a miracle or even an expert. He sent Titus, a young pastor who had his own struggles in the ministry God had given him.
And it reminds me that we are meant to be God’s comfort to each other. We all have our problems and struggles and things that discourage us. Some of us have parents with Alzheimer’s. Some of us have health problems. Some of us have spouses out of work or children in trouble. Some of us are mourning deep losses. All of us have challenges.
And so I pray I will have eyes to see the comfort God sends me through the people He has blessed me with. And I pray I will have ears to hear God’s quiet whisper when He is sending me to be someone else’s comfort.
And I start to feel “upcast”. I didn’t know this was a word when I typed it. But I looked it up and it is and it means, as an adjective…
- Thrown upward
- Turned or directed upward
Maybe I will make the definition my own version of a new perspective. It will be about looking up, not down. It will mean keeping my focus on God, not the gloom. It will be about casting my cares upward towards God and trusting that He has caught them and that He will hold them, and that He will work out all things for good.
The day is still overcast. In fact it’s raining. But maybe I will dance in the rain as I fling my cares up to God. I’m going for upcast.