Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Beneath The Shadow Of The Cross"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 1:3 – All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. (NLT)
My wife and I are quickly moving towards being patriarch and matriarch of our family.
Though I try not to think about it, I know that the time is approaching when my mother and my in-laws will die. I remember the sorrow that I felt when my father died, but at least I had my mother left. When she's gone, there will be no parents left. My wife's parents are more aged than my mother and will soon succumb to death as well. The day is coming when our children and grandchildren will have only us to look to — as we did our parents. How we'll handle the last parent dying, I'm not sure.
According to Paul, God is the source of all comfort — and Paul needed it. Since trusting Christ as his Saviour, turmoil and trials had hounded him. Beatings, stonings, jail time — he faced them all, but he found his comfort in knowing that God was in control and that he was doing God's will.
God hasn't changed roles. As He comforted Paul, so He comforts me — not only when I lose a loved one but also as I face life's challenges each day. Paying attention to how God comforts me helps me to be a better comforter.
God's comfort never runs out nor does He ever tire of giving it. Giving comfort to others is taxing and can drain the emotions. God can handle the task, for He is all-powerful. Nothing that I face is too difficult for Him to know how to comfort me.
Comforting others is often inconvenient. Jesus' ministry was filled with interruptions from others. When I choose to comfort others, I, too, will have to deal with being inconvenienced. Death, accidents, and broken relationships never happen at a convenient time.
Comforting others takes time that I could use for something else — perhaps something more enjoyable. True comfort is more than shooting someone a text or email, or posting a "prayers" comment on their Facebook post. It involves hands-on activities when possible.
While comforting others is time-consuming, doing so brings comfort to me and fulfills part of God's plan for my life. He designed us to be involved in others' lives. I can fully appreciate God's comfort only when I channel it to others.
Let's not soak up God's comfort without squeezing out some for others.
Prayer: Father, use us as instruments of comfort to those who are hurting. Amen.