Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Breathe On Me Breath Of God"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – 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, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (NIV)
Three-year-old Lindy is a late talker. Lindy hears and understands, but the part of her brain that hears sounds and interprets them into speech does not function as it should. It will thus take her much longer to learn to speak than most children. This problem will also most likely affect her ability to spell, understand, and apply grammar correctly, and to remember what she has read or written.
Fortunately, Lindy has been diagnosed early and is already receiving help from a speech therapist, as well as from us here at home and at her playschool. Once she enters school, more help will also be available.
I know that Lindy will do well. She is very clever and determined, attributes which will aid her well as she struggles to move forward academically and socially.
Still, when I already see her frustration beginning to build when she is unable to communicate clearly to those around her what her needs are, I often shed a silent tear, for I know why Lindy is this way. She inherited this condition from me. So, I also know some of the heartaches which may lie ahead for her: ridicule, being labelled unfairly, working harder and longer to study and learn, but being unable to remember what she has studied, making any type of testing a nightmare. And I could go on, but I won't.
And yet, amidst my tears, I am reminded of today's verses, and in remembering them, I must praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles. For indeed, it is His encouragement and compassion and comfort that got me through school. It is His Holy Spirit Who whispered in my ear when words were misspelled so that I could look them up in the dictionary, and nudged me as to where a period or comma or question mark should go. It took what seemed a lifetime to learn these things, but learn them I did, not in my own strength but in His. It was also He Who brought good, caring people into my life to encourage me and to be patient as I struggled and learned.
I know that Lindy is not stupid. I know that she cannot speak, not because she is lazy or doesn't want to, but because she cannot. I know how many dozens or even hundreds of times that it may take for her to learn to spell words and remember the alphabet and how to tie her shoes. And because I know, I can now praise God and comfort her with the comfort that I myself have received from Him.
Today, perhaps, you, too, may know someone who is struggling and in need of comfort. If so, consider the last time God comforted you amidst a problem you had. Then, go to that person and do likewise. They will be so glad that you did. And so will you.
Prayer: Father, we thank You so much that You are the God of comfort and compassion Who comforts us in all our troubles. May we go forth this day and every day, prepared to comfort those whom You bring into our lives with the comfort that we ourselves have received from You. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.