Carol reminds us of our need to comfort one another. She reminds us that the Bible teaches us to comfort one another in the same way that God comforts us.
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Comfort one Another
Comfort. The word evokes pictures of warm, fuzzy feelings, a sense of security and help. We hear about comfort food – mine is chocolate and sweet things and it shows on my figure or lack of one. I think of my children when they were little and how they loved their special little blankets – security blankets or that special stuffed toy which they carted with them everywhere. For my oldest daughter it was a Pooh bear and she hugged it tight when she felt hurt or tired. She dragged it around when she played and slept with it tucked in beside her each night.
These tangible things like blankets and bears gave them something that offered them comfort. Now my grandchildren, or most of them, are past the special toy or blanket that must go everywhere with them. Yet some of them wrap the Afghans I made them around themselves, not necessarily for warmth but a sense of comfort. Some envisioned it like a grandma hug when they were not right with me.
Linus Shows us How to Comfort One Another
I like the Peanuts cartoons by Charles Shultz. Linus, from Charlie Brown, always has his blanket with him. It comforts him, helps him block out the struggles of the world around him. In the one Christmas special he gives the blanket to wrap around the base of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree – that forlorn looking, needles falling off little tree that needs some love and attention. Only in the cartoons could that tree be made beautiful by wrapping a worn little blanket around it. He offered what comforted him.
A Definition of Comfort
To comfort means to ease or alleviate another person’s feeling of grief or distress. There are so many situations in our puzzle of life that can cause us distress or grief, no matter who we are. We experience it too often. We hear about it even more often.
I attended a ladies salad celebration at our church. The speaker, Kim Arendt, shared this passage in 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 which says, “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.”
She went on to tell us some of her story. She shared the tough stuff and the lessons God taught her as He offered her comfort through on going hard times where the puzzle pieces of her life and her family’s life did not seem to fit together.
Remember the Comfort God Has Given Us
Kim challenged us to remember the comfort God gave us – the people he sent to walk beside us and the encouraging words or deeds that helped us when we were in a time of despair. Then she said we should find a person whose story is like our past story and comfort them. If we have suffered a loss, then find someone else who is grieving and walk alongside them, offering comfort you experienced.
I have a daughter with special needs so I can find another parent, maybe who is just starting on the journey of parenting someone with special needs. I can offer suggestions or respite but most importantly I can offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on as I walk with them.
Finding Someone Who Needs Comfort
What puzzle pieces have brought you grief or despair or steep learning curves? Have you struggled with an addiction or had a child or other family member who is addicted? Then find someone who needs some comfort as they walk this difficult path of addictions. Maybe your past journey contains depression, mental illness, chronic illness or a cancer diagnosis. There will be someone just starting these journeys who could benefit from comfort of another who knows the particulars without many words of explanation. There are so many others facing these issues. As God has comforted us, we are to walk with others who are hurting and comfort them.
I met a parent, within the last couple of years, who just been told that their teenage daughter found life almost unbearable. She had taken too many pills in order to rid herself of the internal pain she felt. But a friend discovered what she had done almost right away, and called for help. The young girl’s cry of despair had been heard but came as a total shock to her parents.
Struggling With Depression
I have struggled with depression. I know the internal pain. I had the opportunity to listen to her dad’s pain, share a bit of my journey – just enough so he knew he was not alone. God had given comfort in the dark times of my soul by sending people into my life at just the right time. Now I could pass on some of the comfort I had received to another hurting person.
Life is full of those difficult puzzle pieces we would rather not have around. The pain is real. The grief of unwanted hurts, losses and difficulties colours the world around us a dark and dreary colour. We long for comfort, for an easing of the burdens. None of us is immune to these types of puzzle pieces but God offers his comfort and he sends people to be the hands on, listening ears and big shoulders we need to cry on. We need to be willing to go where he sends.
Think back to times you have needed someone to comfort you, whether a recent event or in the past. What brought you comfort in the midst of pain? How can you share that comfort with another person.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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