God Gives the Love, We Give the Hug

Pain is going to happen.  Sometimes it is something we bring upon ourselves, and sometimes it seems totally random.  We were at the wrong place and seemingly the wrong time or we are impacted by some disease that doesn’t run in our family, but here is shows up or a wide variety of other equally hard things.  In the wrestling to make sense of suffering we search for purpose.  The following Scripture gives us a glimmer of hope as we wade through a difficult time:

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ.  Even when we are weighed down with troubles it is for your comfort and salvation!  For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you.  Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.  We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”    II Corinthians 1:3-7 (NLT)

If we receive pain with a trust that indeed God loves us and will still use this in a positive way in our lives (eventually!) then we can begin to see the silver lining to the black clouds.  This knowledge doesn’t make the pain go away necessarily, but that knowledge gives purpose to our pain so that we might endure, become stronger spiritually, learn life lessons and perhaps help someone else in a significant way. In fact, the compassion gained through pain and suffering can save somebody’s life.

Sometimes it is just a kind word or gesture – birthed from personal pain – that prompts us to offer compassion just when someone needs it most.  That comfort we receive from God – that promise that our pain is not random, but in God’s great sovereignty, somehow purposeful – is the very comfort we can pass on to others.  Others receive God’s comfort with human hands and hearts wrapped around it.  God gives the love, we give the hug.

“You can trust the Man that died for you.”  – Streams in the Desert    

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