"We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

2 Corinthians 4:7

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Comfort ABLE

Are you comfort able? Not comfortable, but comfort-able. Are you ABLE to comfort others?

Years ago I read a book by James Dobson called, "When God Doesn't Make Sense". He suggests that when a person is going through a difficult circumstance allow them to find their own "silver lining". Going up to a person in the thick of their difficulty is not the time to try to help them see the BRIGHT SIDE or quote Romans 8:28 reminding them that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. While Romans 8:28 is absolutely true, spoken at the wrong time, can really hurt.

It's difficult to see a person that we love so much HURT so deeply. Many times I am guilty of trying to "fix" the hurt rather than listen to the person who is hurting. Listening seems to come easier for some, but I think there is a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe He is trying to say that we should listen a whole lot more than we talk. Now I know you are probably laughing out loud because no one likes to talk more than me. Talking is the way I work though my emotions, but God has been convicting me that I need to talk less and listen more.

I remember going through a difficult time when God used a friend to comfort me and my friend never said a word. I was having some medical issues and I was overcome with fear. As I spewed out all my fears my friend simply put a hand around my shoulder. Not one word, not one question, not one piece of advice. Just listened and kept that arm around my shoulder. I remember feeling comforted as I realized that I was not alone.

So many times I want the "hurting person" to hurry up and get better and I compulsively offer unsolicited advice, cook a meal, buy a gift, or tell a similar personal experience. While these activities are not always bad or the wrong thing to do, sometimes a person just wants to be heard.

As Christians, we know that God is our ultimate source of comfort and He comforts us through His Word & His Spirit; however, He also wants to work through His children to be a physical expression of His comfort. Sometimes we just need someone in the flesh, putting their arm around us!

Paul shares this truth in 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."

The word Paul used for "comfort" comes from the Greek words meaning "call alongside."

Will you answer the call to come alongside another?

Let His Comfort make you ABLE!