Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Genuine Comfort

 source photo

Yesterday I was talking with my husband about finding comfort in suffering.  Most of you know what a trying early summer we've had, and although I don't think about it all the time, there is sometimes where I get sad or emotional.  So I was expressing to my husband that even though I know all the right answers and intellectually I know why we have to suffer and all that...I could even tell someone in my situation the things that people tell me, but why doesn't that comfort?  I was even a struggle for my husband and I to talk without all that "things happen for a reason" stuff.  Which we all know, I know that God doesn't hate me and that there is a purpose for everything.

Well then we got past that stuff and began to talk for real.  How do you comfort someone?  What helps? We realized that this was an important conversation for us to have because we're essentially in training for our coming years in ministry.  What do you say to someone when they are suffering so it has a healing effect on their soul. We've heard

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. " James 1:2-3   

But has anyone been so bold as to say that to you when you're in the thick of suffering?  I don't know but if someone said that to me, I'd slap them!  Honestly I think we go through suffering so when someone comes to you for comfort you can be genuine in concern.  Everything is better when it's genuine.  I know that if someone came to me now wanting comfort I would just cry with them.  No words no "phrases of wisdom" just morn with them.  But I don't think you can do that unless you've suffered.  

Am I at a place where I can consider it pure joy? That's a tough one. I'm workin' on it :) Do any of you have a person in your life who genuinely comforted you in suffering? If you do I'd like to hear it!


  1. I completely undestand where you are coming from. At my mother's viewing and funeral, people kept coming up to me telling me what I already knew- that she was in the presence of the Lord, that she was no longer suffering, that I would see her again one day. But as a woman who was literally two weeks from delivering my first baby, I didn't want to hear any of that! I wanted my mother right here right now and there were times that I was angry at God for taking her when I felt I needed her the most. After time had healed much of the grief of losing my mother, I could say for myself that I would see her again, that she was in the presence of the Lord, that she was no longer suffering. I learned from my own experience that when someone is experiencing a time of trial or suffering, the best thing someone can do is just pray. Even just being there physically but not saying anything is a blessing also.

    During my mother's viewing, there were two distinct women who came to me to "comfort". One went on and on with just empty words that I have no idea what she said even though I knew she was trying to get me to break down. The other woman came up to me, said "I lost my mother several years ago. I'm just going to hug you." The second woman ministered to me more than the first.

    Sorry my comment is so long. Your post just struck a chord because I understand. Hugs...

  2. I'm not there yet...I still get very down from time to time when one thing after the next goes awry. Like you, intellectually I KNOW GOD has a purpose for everything including the hard times...but it still hurts.

    As far as others, I definitely try to encourage people when they are suffering...I never feel like I have the right words, but I do try. It's so hard to know what to do. I love what Suzette said though about the lady who just gave her a hug. I think that's the best thing to do. The problem is what about all the friends and family far away who only get to hear/read your words...wish I had answers!

  3. this makes me think of 2 Corinthians 1:3-5...

    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. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

    I don't know why we go through the suffering we do but the comment from godlyrose made me realize that sometimes the people who best comfort us are the ones who have previously walked our road. Maybe we go through suffering to be able to comfort others later?

    Thanks for causing me to think!