Two years ago, I sat at the little round table in my super deluxe postpartum recovery suite (kidding about the super deluxe part) feeling particularly hopeless. My body was recovering from an emergency C-section, and my baby was in an isolette in the NICU 40 minutes away.
We knew it was only a question of when — not if — he could come out. We knew that eventually he'd be fine. I'd be fine. But for now, I was a wreck. The 20 miles between us might as well have been a few continents and an ocean, because I was in no condition to go anywhere.
I remember leaning my elbows on the table and praying for some comfort. And feeling... nothing.
At the time I was so frustrated. I've always believed that God wants to comfort us in our times of greatest need. All throughout the scriptures and in the lives of people I know (who definitely aren't liars!) I've seen it happen.
So why wasn't it happening to me?
That experience was years ago, but I found myself lying awake thinking about it the other night. If God loves us, why was His comfort so elusive to me?
I thought about every example I could think of in the scriptures when someone has been comforted by God, and pretty soon I got to thinking about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and suffering for all our sins. That was the worst one. Literally no one can even understand what agony that was.
As the Savior prayed, Luke says that "an angel [came] from heaven, strengthening him."
I was pondering on this when a very strong thought occurred to me: Look up what Jesus said right before that.
I got out of bed, pulled up the scriptures on lds.org, and read. Before the angel appeared, Jesus asked "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:43.)
Being willing to give up control — or at least, the illusion that we're in control — is an absolute prerequisite for the Lord to do pretty much anything with us. Including, I think, comforting us.
Now, I will never experience what Jesus experienced in the garden. But I'm sure there will be many scenarios in my life that I'm sure are driving me beyond my limits.
At those times, it helps to remember that God is standing at the door, ready and waiting to carry us through the hardest trials of our lives. We just need to let Him in.