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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.


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. 
 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 

I don’t know how you feel ladies, but it makes me shudder to relive my troubles. However, hindsight gives me a much better perspective of the comforts that came my way in the midst of them. God makes it perfectly clear that while He may not have sent them, He does not intend them to be wasted. And one of the prime reasons is so that I may comfort you in your troubles.

So how do we comfort others? Some things we’re pretty good at doing. All we need is for someone to pass around the list and there’s a meal for that new baby, or your friend just home from the hospital. It takes little more than appearing with a hug, when your best friend has lost a loved one. And anytime we can lend a listening ear. I fear, however, that we miss some of the long term needs for comfort. There is never enough in the cupboard for the single mom. The young widow is alone forever.

This year has been a long one for our daughter. Circumstances have tested her stamina, but she can recount blessings by the dozens. Take the parcel that arrived in her mailbox one afternoon. As her boys helped her open it, their eyes popped. Inside were gift cards for McDonalds—you know that means Happy Meals, and toys. Add to that the latest rage in dinosaur silly bands. Pretty exciting. Then for mom, a gift card for school supplies, and a note of encouragement and promises of prayer. As mom read the note she burst into tears at the thought of someone caring enough to think of her. You know what, in most cases comfort comes in small packages.

How about your personal stories of trouble and pursuant comfort? It may be the hardest thing for you to do; there will be lots of emotions surface. However I do encourage you to go back, examine, and write down all the places you can see God’s hand intervening in comfort. It may have been but a whisper of the Spirit, perhaps a scripture, most certainly the hug of a friend. Having identified the marks of comfort, you will be a comfort in turn to someone mired in one trouble or another.    

Thank You, Father, for the comfort from above. May I be sensitive to my friend, presently in need of a hug from You.

Nancy P

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