It’s summer time. Okay, maybe not for us, but it is on the ice planet of Hoth. The winter weather is so cold on Hoth that not even the wampa (a giant snow beast) will come out of his cave. Summer though, a nice and balmy -10 degrees or so (or however they do temperatures in the Star Wars galaxy). A Polar Vortex like we’ve been having is no problem for wampas and taun-tauns (a horse like creature people ride on in Hoth).
The ice planet of Hoth is from the Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back. The rebel alliance, those fighting against the Galactic Empire for peace and restoration, are hiding on a base on the ice planet of Hoth. They won a victory by destroying the Death Star, but now have to hide in order to fight another day.
Right now, most of the Midwest is going through what people have called the Polar Vortex. Much like the Polar Express save for Santa Clause and Tom Hanks. Okay, maybe nothing like the Polar Express. We were hit hard by cold, nasty, snowy weather a few weeks ago and now we’re going to get hit with it again. Cold air coming from the north has swept in and frozen things, with wind chills in the negative 20’s.
Of course, growing up in southern California, I had no idea what a wind chill was until I moved to Michigan. I was then told that a wind chill is weather with good PR.
What does this have to do with anything you ask. Well, we’re all bundled inside now. I braved the weather myself with my down parka, gloves, ear muffs and warm car to come to the office. Others are trekking off to work. Accidents are being reported on the radio. It’s not pretty. It’s down right nerve racking. This second wave of the Polar Vortex, the Polar Vortex strikes back if you will, is causing stress and dismay.
When things get like this, I think of the words from the prophet Isaiah
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed , for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
That verse brings a lot of comfort to a lot of people. I’m not sure it was available for Luke to read when his taun-taun froze in the middle of the snowy wasteland of Hoth. Instead, he had the blue and sparkly image of Ben Kenobi (Obi-wan to others) telling him to go to the warmer climate of Dagoba.
I find it interesting that there was no comfort given to Luke when he lay there about to suffer from hypothermia. Instead all he got was something he had to do.
When we’re suffering, when we’re sturggling, we’re not told to do x,y, and z to end our suffering and pain. No. Instead we’re given words of comfort and help.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort…” 2 Corinthians 1:3
God is a God of comfort. He gives us comfort in times of trouble, in times of pain, in times of uncertainty.
“…who comforts us in all troubles, so that we an comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
As we receive comfort, we’re able to comfort others. As we are given comfort from the God of all comfort, we can share in that.
That’s something that most of us don’t always get until disaster strikes. While on the ice planet Hoth, Luke lay dying in the snow, his taun-tuan dead from exhaustion and the elements, and his friend Han comes to his rescue. He is willing to do what he can to comfort Luke in his suffering. Of course, he shoves him into a dead taun-taun in order to keep Luke alive, but still, the gesture and thought is there.
“For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5
In suffering, there is a sharedness with Jesus. If you are a follower of Jesus, you share in his suffering. The suffering he endured on the cross. The suffering he went through in order to bring about salvation for all peoples. And as a follower of Jesus, you share in that suffering. Suffering will happen. And suffering is more than just being stuck inside during a Polar Vortex.
But in that suffering there lies comfort. And we can find that comfort in Jesus. So, you might be stuck at home right now due to the weather. Now, you might be suffering through something more than just the Polar Vortex. Find comfort in Jesus. Not in the blue and sparkly Ben Kenobi or Yoda in the Dagoba system or in the Force or in whatever you might think will bring you luck. True comfort is found in the God of all comfort who is there for us in all circumstances in our suffering, giving us an overflowing comfort through Jesus.