My wife and I had put the children into bed and all seemed well. But a half hour later, my eldest daughter, Elizabeth, came downstairs complaining of a headache. She was just about in tears. I led her back upstairs to her room, comforted her, and gave her some medicine to help soothe the headache. After questioning her as to how she felt, and feeling assured that she would be all right, I went back downstairs to do my work. Then, after several hours had passed, I also went to bed.
That night I woke up at least six or seven … or maybe even up to ten times due to an incredidle headache. I have never felt the likes of this type of headache before, and I still can’t seem to figure out why I had that headache, except to say that maybe, for some strange reason, there is a “message” in it for me, in that it helped me to better understand what my daughter might have been going through when she, too, complained of a headache while sleeping only hours earlier.
Strange it is, us human beings, but until we have actually been through it ourselves, we really can’t understand what another person has been going through. Though we may try to empathize with the person who has gone through a divorce, do we understand what it is like to go through it if we ourselves have not been through it? And similarly for just about everything, from a certain type of disease, to any other type of affliction or suffering known to mankind. None of us can really understand what the other person is feeling, unless we have gone through it.
Thus it is that when we suffer, we are actually “advantaged for use” in God’s kingdom, because we can then better understand what other people are going through, and that makes us – or at least should make us – better ministers for God’s kingdom. The passage that comes to mind is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
What is this passage teaching us? Simply that when we suffer and receive comfort from God, we are then in a position to comfort others who are going through the same thing … “that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Are you going through a trial right now? Seek God for help in the midst of it. And don’t be afraid to seek out someone else who has been through it, because they may well be able to help you. Once you have received comfort, take what you have received and bless someone else who is going through a similar type of situation.
May the Lord bless you as you consider these words today.