A Prayer for God's Comfort

God planted just one word in my pounding heart. Nevertheless.

By Marion Bond West, Watkinsville, Georgia

As appeared in

Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us. II Corinthians 7:6

When my husband Jerry was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer back in October 1982, I couldn't imagine how I would continue to live. Fear and pain accompanied me everywhere, even in sleep. I wasn't angry with God; I would go on if only I knew how, but I didn't. It seemed that I was totally helpless and no escape was possible. Family, friends, God's Word, prayer, phone calls, visits, casseroles, books of inspiration, hugs–nothing comforted me. I almost stopped eating, rarely slept, never laughed, couldn't read or concentrate.

On one particular horrific night when Jerry was back in the hospital, the fear arrived promptly at three o'clock in the morning. I actually fled my bedroom to a guest room, I curled into a ball and cried out, “God, give me something–or I can't go on!” God planted just one word in my pounding heart. Nevertheless.

Eventually, I discovered it's used in the Bible more than two hundred times. I figured out that God isn't a God of "what if" but of "nevertheless".

Two months later Jerry died, but the power of “nevertheless living” got me through. I've come to agree with the astonishing statement of Gene Edwards in his little gem The Inward Journey: “Thank you, friend pain.”

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for life-changing comfort for anyone who needs to hear from You right now.

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I have always liked to read Marion Bond West's devotionals. Have read them for years and in fact, almost consider her an acquaintance because I have seen her photo enough to recognize her by name. Everything about this one spoke to me and I am thinking I want to remember its message "nevertheless". That is a powerful word full of faith! I like it! I embrace it! But I do not like the part of Thank you, friend pain. I will not embrace it! Yes, it is astonishing and it is not for me. I make that decision for myself, others, well you can make your own decision. I do not believe pain is from God. Yes, it is a part of this sinful world, as well as a lot of other bad things. When we open ourself to them, we will draw them like a magnet into our life. Pain, no way. I have a covenant with the Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ. This covenant redeemed me from the curse of sin and death, which pain is a part.