Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Comforting a Friend

A Child’s Comfort
A little girl came home from a neighbor’s house where her little friend had died. “Why did you go?” questioned her father. “To comfort her mother,” said the child. “What could you do to comfort her?” “I climbed into her lap and cried with her.”
Source unknown

This short story speaks volumes to each of us. Sometimes when we want to comfort someone, we think we need to be available to talk, but the secret to comforting someone is in just being there for them. This father just couldn't see how in the world a little child could possibly comfort a grieving mother that had just lost her daughter. He didn't realize that it's not what we say during times like this, it's what we do. As a matter of fact it's best we say nothing and simply listen. We can't solve their problems, we can't fix the situation nor should we try to, we can only show love and compassion as a true source of comfort. A hug, an arm around the shoulder, and even crying with them in their pain can comfort more than anything else.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
(3)Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
(4)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.
(5)For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Thank God for his compassion. Thank God that he is the God of all comfort. As we go through our own struggles God comforts us so that we can comfort others that are struggling as well. It's just like Christ isn't it? He dies on the cross to save us so that we will go out and tell others about his saving power. He also comforts us so we will in turn comfort others. The reason we can comfort others as only Christ can is because his sufferings flow over into our lives and the compassion that Christ has for us, flows out to those we are comforting. Basically, Christ is comforting others through you. I believe that's why it's best not to say anything in most cases. Just let God's comfort flow through you and touch the life and soul of the one that is hurting. Allow His spirit to speak to their heart. Allow God to work through you and provide the comfort that only God can supply.

Lessons from the little girl.
1. She went to the one hurting as we must go to those hurting. This Mom didn't call her to come over did she? No. As a matter of fact I doubt that this mother would have thought to call this girl over for comfort. But it's what she needed wasn't it?
2. It's not what we say, but what we do. This child simply sat up in the mothers lap and cried along with her.
3. We must share the burden or the pain. It's OK to cry, It's OK to share in the sorrow, as a matter of fact it helps the person suffering to know that you really do care when you hurt because they hurt. This lets the one hurting know that you have compassion for them.
The next time you have the opportunity to comfort someone, remember that God is working through you. Make yourself available and be blessed as you are a blessing to others.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for Your comfort that spills over through me to others in their time of need. May I be sensitive to You leading me to comfort others, may I be willing to go to them and comfort, may I be willing to simply listen and be there for them, and may I be willing to allow you to comfort as only you can. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen

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