Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2 Cor. 1:3-5
I watched an interview with Sheryl Sandberg this week on grief. Sheryl is the chief operating officer of Facebook and author of Lean In. Nearly two years ago her husband died unexpectedly. When she went back to work, she said many people didn’t know how to talk to her or even if they should talk to her. She shared the feelings I’ve heard many special-needs parents express, “It’s better to say something than nothing.” But now that she’s experienced this loss and heartbreak, she knows what to do for others in painful situations.
Those of us who have experienced suffering or challenges and are Christ-followers are even better equipped to comfort others who are suffering because our comfort has come from God. He gave to us generously so we could give generously to others.
You can live this out. Your children can live this out. James is just now developing a sense of sympathy and recognition of some else’s emotions. He has realized crying means sad and will respond with attention when he hears someone cry. I pray he continues to grow in empathy so he can comfort others.
Comfort, encourage, and support those God puts on your path to serve. Treat them the way you wish you would have been treated by everyone you encountered when in the middle of your suffering. And praise God for His abundant comfort.
Give us opportunities to encourage others with the encouragement You have given us.