Recently, some grieving people were discussing their losses. They talked about the pain and sorrow of losing a loved one. The also discussed the comfort they had found through their faith.
One of these gals had lost her husband, the love of her life, after more than fifty years of marriage. Another had lost a three year old daughter to cancer. One had lost her brother when they were both teenagers. These gals had lost people they loved. They were hurting, yet each had begun to find healing and hope. They were learning to live joyfully despite the pain of grief.
As often happens when grieving people get together, someone mentioned a neighbor who had lost her dearly loved “Baby” – her nine year old miniature pincher, a dog. This neighbor was grieving and had said, “I can’t hardly bear the pain of burying my Baby! This is the worst pain ever!”
Some in the group quickly began to criticize the neighbor and talk of how her pain was nothing compared to the pain of losing a child or spouse. How dare she even think losing a dog could compare to losing a person?!
One wise and very kind woman quietly said, “Well…She’s not wrong, you know. It is the worst pain she has ever known.”
When we have lost someone very dear to us, it is easy to begin to compare our pain and our grief to the pain and grief others may feel. We may judge our loss as deeper, harder, more worthy of compassion than that of those around us.
But the Bible tells us that we who have received comfort are to comfort others with the comfort we have received. More specifically, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says:
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.
We who have been comforted in our affection are now able to comfort others in their affliction…whatever that affliction may be.
We have not been placed in a position of judge.
We are not charged with the task of determining who is worthy of comfort or whose grief is worse.
We are not asked to categorize levels of loss.
We are told that we have been comforted “so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.”
How are you doing in this, my friend? Have you received comfort from the Father of mercies and God of all comfort? If so, have you begun to comfort others?
If not, why not? Why not start today?
Helping others is a huge step towards finding our own healing, hope, peace, and joy.
Kathleen & Ron have written a new Bible Study.
Available from http://www.precept.org.