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. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, ESV
I was broken, physically broken. I had sustained a major shoulder injury the previous summer at military training. I re-injured it first semester and here, second semester, I had re-injured it again. This time was the worst by far. I had been on constant painkillers for a couple of months but they didn’t do much for the pain. I wasn’t able to sleep except when my body became so physically exhausted I basically collapsed. And the damage done to my shoulder was firing signals all throughout my nervous system, leading to spasm like occurrences on a regular basis. My grades plummeted, my military contract was put on hold, and I even had a talk with the Dean for Academic Affairs about how leaving school might affect my scholarship status. This was as low as I had ever been.
But I had also come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ at about the same time the injury happened. It was that relationship that sustained me. It kept me moving forward. My rare moments of peace usually came when I was reading my Bible, a gift from my girlfriend (now my wife), as she encourage my new faith. Starting in Genesis, I realized that a lot of folks had it bad. God was with them. Even when they chose actions to separate themselves from Him, He was still there if they had a relationship with Him. When I read about Hannah, my jaw dropped. She had been miserable for many years. She just wanted a son. But there was a timing involved. Samuel was her son. And he had to come along at the right time to foster the events that led to King David being chosen. She received her comfort during one of her bitterest moments.
If you are a Christian, you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are hurting, He is available. He is the God of all comfort, as Paul wrote. God comforts us, which then prepares us to comfort those who are afflicted. Even in our affliction, God has a plan. Sometimes we are in a bad place because we must learn how God works so we can be the one there for someone when they are in a tough spot. We may not know who. We may not know when. But God tells us why. The point is, if you are in need of comfort and you have that relationship, turn to Him. Wait on Him patiently, as I wrote about yesterday. Sometimes there’s a timing to our suffering, a point beyond being a comfort to others, like with Hannah or Job or Naomi or Jeremiah. Don’t despair if you have to wait. God is there. And He will comfort. He promises.