Wednesday, March 16 Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies
and the God of all consolations, who consoles us in all our affliction so that
we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation
with which we ourselves are consoled by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
There are dark moments of the soul that call to mind the Bible passage, “Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord.”
Like most people, I have felt pushed to the limit at times. I have felt cornered and bruised, and the best I could do was to call out for help to a higher power. Help me please, God – be with me in my time of trouble.
Fortunately, I have never felt there was no way out. If it was something at home, I always prayed that things would work out. If it was at work, I’d pray that things would improve. Sometimes, it helped to keep perspective. “This is bad, but at least I’m not…” and you fill in the blank. “Not in a war-torn country.” “Not able to feed my children.” “Not hurt badly.” You get the idea.
Yet, there are times I’ve experienced the pain of others close to me and found myself wishing I could carry their burden. For instance, after a relative’s car was wrecked. Or when my father was dying in the hospital. I felt that way again recently when a dear friend – who thought she had gotten a clean bill of health on a medical test – found out that the possibility of a life-threatening problem remained. Nothing was definite and more tests were needed, but the thought alone was enough to send life into a tailspin. I felt her pain deeply.
So what do we do in those times? Words seem small. At that point, we remember that we are not – never were and never will be – alone. As Paul wrote, who provides comfort in our times of trouble? God, of course. And he is looking to us to pass it on. Paul told the church at Corinth that as we share in the sufferings of Christ, so we receive comfort from him.
There are no great thoughts to be passed on to friends and loved ones in these times. However, standing with them, giving them support in any way we can – that’s what we are called to do. If we are to live as God wants us to, there may not be a better way to start.
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