3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
I’ve always bought the idea that what we’re given is intended to flow through us. In fact, it drives me to utter frequent and patterned prayers: Teach me, that I might teach. Love me, that I might love. Lead me, that I might lead.
You get the idea. And you can add this one today: “Comfort me, that I might comfort.”
That one’s a touch tougher because it catches us in a weak moment. When I’m squirming or hurting or broken, I’m terrible at thinking of others. In such times, we fall back to animal instincts with a perspective that shrinks itself to an area of one square-foot. That’s just enough room for me, and nowhere for you.
But “comfort me, that I might comfort” will attack that. Not only attack it, it will alter it. Because God won’t be contained in any square-foot spaces. His comforting entrance into my hurts will naturally expand the space of my life. In my smallness, I may not even notice the change, though I’ll certainly feel it easier to breathe. And as my life “enlarges” by His comforting touch, I may be shocked to see that my gaze now beholds more than merely me.
I see others. I see stories. I see that Amanda Marshall sang truth about six billion stories that can break a heart.
And my prayer will be answered, for in that moment, I will recognize that the Comforter’s presence in my hurt has equipped and readied me to act divinely in the hurt of another, to be a real piece of the salvation story this day.