Recently I met with a few friends over my dining room table and one of them shared the crisis she is now navigating. Her husband is an alcoholic who is making such bad choices it may not be possible to continue in the relationship. She has initiated a fast for herself to seek God’s face on what to do next.
As she told her story, another person at the table quietly began to ask questions and nod his head. It turns out he knows all about living with an alcoholic because he grew up with an alcoholic father. I could begin to see in her eyes the relief she felt that someone truly understood.
We all know what it is like having to sit through advice from someone who doesn’t know beans about our situation but thinks they do. On the other hand, when we find someone who has walked down our road, our load is lightened considerably.
Did you ever realize that your own little bag of past trials – hard though they were – have a wonderful purpose? They can be used to comfort others who now bear the same load.
Listen to this: “(God) comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4) Though it does not erase our own hard times, it brings meaning to be able to use them to comfort someone else.
What comfort do you have to offer?