The Comfort of A Fitting Word

Published 5:23 am Friday, August 16, 2013

Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God

The Old Testament Book of Proverbs assures us that, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-and how good is a timely word!” (15:23, New International Version). I came to better appreciate the soothing effect of “a timely word” last week as our youngest granddaughter went into the hospital for a minor surgical procedure.

I am grateful for what medical science has made available to us so we can enjoy better health and greater physical comfort, but regardless of the huge advancements and improvements that have been made in the medical field, having to be put to sleep is not something I enjoy experiencing. And I like it even less when it comes to my grandchildren having to go through it. Nevertheless, three year old Addyson recently had a situation in which none of the previous procedures in the doctor’s office remedied-a huge wart mushrooming from under her big toenail-so it became necessary to schedule a simple surgery to take care of the problem. I did not like the idea, but that seemed to be the most reasonable alternative, since she would never sit still long enough to have it excised in the doctor’s office.

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When I arrived at the surgical area early on the morning of the procedure, I did not have to ask anyone which room Addyson was in — I recognized her cries as the nursing staff was getting her prepared. After a wait that seemed much longer than it really was, they carried her to the operating room, and at that point, time really slowed down to a crawl. As this uptight papa deceptively paced around the room acting like he was cool and calm, a knock finally came to our door and one of the hospital staff members who had been tending to Addyson stepped into the room and spoke a few words that brought a tremendous calm to my mind: “I just want ya’ll to know she is doing fine.” What a timely statement and how comforting it was! Vince’s few words spoken at just the right time certainly made a huge difference. As Proverbs 16:24 expresses, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” A while later, little Addyson arrived safely back to us in her hospital room; everything was fine and in a few hours she was dismissed to go home.

We are blessed to have available to us God’s Word to provide us with comfort and guidance at just the right time, but we must exercise the effort of spending time reading it, meditating upon it and applying it to our lives. As we allow God’s Word to penetrate our hearts, we then become better equipped to speak words of life, hope and comfort to others in their time of need. What a joy it is to be able to share “a timely word” with others-at times without even realizing what a difference we are making to them.

Concerning the effectiveness of God’s Word, writer Chuck Swindoll makes a most fitting and accurate descriptive statement: “Though ancient, it has never lost its relevance. Though battered, no one has ever improved on its content. Though old, it never fails to offer something pure, something wise, something new.” It is truly our greatest source from which to draw words of comfort in times of need-both for ourselves and for those to whom God allows us to extend words of hope.