There is a lot of suffering in our world. You might be one of those who is suffering. You might be one of those who has suffered in the past and is no long suffering. Christian faith believes that comfort is found because God is the God of compassion and comfort. Listen to these words from St. Paul:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles” (2 Corinthians 1:3).
Why do we know God understands our suffering? God is the suffering God who suffered on the Cross. Whatever our suffering, God understands and wants us to find comfort. How will we find comfort? St. Paul continues with these words:
“…so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:4-5).
Never let your sufferings go to waste. The suffering you and I undergo is to transform us into carriers of compassion for others. Sharing our comfort is not done by saying, “I understand,” because each person’s suffering is unique even if we are sharing like experiences. Many years ago I went through weeks of bed rest go deal with severe back pain. Many people tried to tell me “I understand.” My reply, “No, you don’t.” How do we comfort each other? We sit, we listen, we cry, we pray. Words are not needed; presence brings comfort.
Ronald Friesen © 2015