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 Cor 1:3-4 ESV
On a recent trip I had the opportunity to speak with a young lady who has been going through an extremely difficult time. She shared how she has been having a hard time trusting God because of some of the traumatic things she has been through. I told her about my difficult teen years and how Jesus came in and rescued me and gave me hope. She responded that she was really beginning to see how God is working in her life, and using her difficult circumstances to teach her to trust in Him more fully.
In the book of second Corinthians, Paul speaks of how Jesus is the ultimate comforter. He has the power to comfort us in all our afflictions so that we can be a comforter to others. I was reminded of this verse shortly after my conversation with the young participant. Twenty-five years ago as a new Christian, I had no idea how the Lord would redeem my pain and struggles, and use me to comfort others. Even though the losses and abuse I experienced were extremely hard to go through at the time, God has used those traumatic experiences to teach me to trust Him more fully and to be able to relate to and minister to those who are going through similar circumstances.
In the outdoor setting, it is often surprising the vulnerability people will demonstrate and the depth of conversation that can be had. There is something about nature that can open us up to deep healing and a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I’m so thankful to be a part of a ministry that on a regular basis sees the Lord redeem traumatic experiences and bring hope and healing.
During this difficult season of COVID-19 and social un-rest, remember that God is at work in your affliction. No matter what you are going through, the Lord can redeem it and give you comfort and peace. Only when you have personally received His comfort will you then be able to share it with others. It is my prayer that you will be able to find hope in whatever you are facing, knowing that God can and will redeem it for your good and His glory.