Ever heard the statement, “Pay it Forward.”? The gist of it is that when someone does something nice for you, you should in turn do something nice for someone else and then they do something nice for someone else and so on and on. Feels a bit like a chain letter – but in a good way. I’d rather push towards “Comfort it Forward”. It doesn’t flow as nicely but encourages me to recall the comfort I have received from God when I have been in difficult situations/seasons and encourages me to share that comfort with someone else going through a difficult season.
This blog is one in a journey of a Getting to Know God series. The names and attributes of God are adapted from a guide on the Navigators website called 30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God. Today’s blog corresponds with the 24th Day – God is our Comforter.
Today our guide from the Navigators says this: “God is our Comforter. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the “Comforter,” and the Apostle Paul writes that the Lord is “the God of all comfort.””
Our verses for the day are:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (TLB)
What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.
This is one of my favorite bible passages. It is highlighted in my bible with a date listed of September 26, 2012. I actually remember highlighting these verses during a morning prayer/quiet time with God. It was on that day that I finally understood what the Apostle Paul meant by that passage. Please bear with me as I give a bit of background in order to fully explain how and why I could finally understand these verses.
2012 was a rough year in my life. My dad died suddenly as a result of an accident in February of 2012. My husband was suffering from serious and mysterious health issues at the time and me dealing with my father’s death resurfaced his feelings from suddenly losing his dad in 2006, which in turn, exacerbated his health issues to a whole new level. Add to that, the fact that I was president of a community group working through a tough issue then top it all off with losing my husband’s dear grandmother, Betty Jensen, in May of 2012, two days before Mother’s Day, after a short illness. In short, 2012 was one for the record books, the sad record books.
While I was walking through the midst of these trials there were, of course, deep moments of sadness, frustration and anger, but there were also moments of great comfort. I was often comforted by a direct reach-out from God. By direct reach-out, I mean seeing a rainbow just when I needed it or seeing the same bible verse appear everywhere I looked or praying for comfort then immediately having a random stranger share a comforting story with me. It seemed every time I reached a new low and reached out to God, He answered me immediately and directly with His Comfort. Each time, I was comforted by the feeling that He was always right there beside me whether I felt His Presence or not.
Even though I didn’t know what was causing my husband’s health issues and I did not understand the loss of my Dad or Grandma Betty, I had comfort so deep in my spirit that I could not explain it to you if I tried. It was on that September morning as the clouds were clearing from the trauma of life that year that God pointed me to these verses in 2 Corinthians. At that moment, I could look back at how God had carried me through the year with all the bad that had happened and how He had comforted me along the way. I knew upon reading that verse that I was meant to comfort others with the comfort I had received.
This is similar to how I feel about grace. Since I have received so much grace from God, I can freely offer it out to others. In the same way, because my life has not been perfect I have received great comfort from God and thus can comfort others in their non-perfect lives. I would never wish for a year like 2012 to happen again but I will never take for granted the deep comfort I have received and the new perspective I gained from God during those trials.
The hardest part of sharing comfort with others can be the transparency it takes to do so. You have to show someone your tender side and allow them into your personal bubble. But when you share the comfort you have received with someone else Heaven rejoices and the hard times you’ve been through begin to pale in comparison to the new depths and wisdom you have received. Sharing can be scary but I encourage you to look at some of the tough stuff you have encountered in your past and see where you have comfort to share. Then be bold in God’s Grace and Comfort it Forward.
If you are walking through a tough spot now, hang in there and wait in patient expectation for God’s comfort to cover you. He will, I know He will, then you will someday share that comfort with others. Praise God for His amazing traits and plans for our lives!
Blessings and love,