We all have them. We all wish we didn’t. Hurtful experiences, disappointments, and losses are never enjoyable when we are in the middle of them. Yet they are common to all of humanity, and in this imperfect world, there is no way of escaping them.
Have you ever wondered what the point of it all is? Why do we have to suffer – sometimes severely – and live with the trauma and consequences, possibly for the rest of our lives? If you are a child of God, you know that He is not the One causing the suffering, but instead He is walking right alongside of you, holding you up, ready to pick up the shattered pieces and re-creating them into something beautiful. If we let Him, our loving Father can use our ugly past for our good, to make us more like Jesus. But there is another reason, bigger than ourselves: in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, we are told that God is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
What does that mean? In His perfect plan, our Father intends for us to be instruments of comfort and healing to a desolate and hurting world. Just as Jesus went through more pain and suffering than we could ever imagine and can therefore relate to everything we experience, so we also can identify with people around us who are hurting because we have been hurt. We feel more compassionate towards someone who has just lost a loved one if we ourselves have lost someone near to us. We care more about the homeless person who is cold and hungry if we have ever been deprived of food and warmth. The urgency of rescuing the little girl who has been abused by her mother’s new boyfriend is much stronger if we can identify with her situation. The little boy who never knew his Daddy seems more dear to us if our own Daddy has been absent. This is the beauty of God’s comfort – just as He comforts us, we get to comfort those around us whom He places in our paths.
Perhaps the most hurting and vulnerable human beings on this planet are orphans. Not only have they experienced severe losses – often at a young age – but they also have no voice. In Proverbs 31:8, we are instructed to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” God cares so much for them that He wishes for us, His children, to “be God” to them, to comfort, care for, and provide for them.
What experiences have you gone through that you wish you could erase from your past? What hurts in your life has your Father in heaven been wanting to heal and transform into something beautiful? Don’t let the pain of your past cripple and incapacitate you. Today, will you allow God to comfort you with His perfect comfort, and let Him use you to bring healing and comfort into the life of one of His Little Treasures, the vulnerable and orphaned child? Do you have the means to sponsor a child halfway around the world and bring hope to their situation? Why not volunteer at an orphanage overseas and show God’s love to the children there in a tangible way? Or maybe God is tugging on your heart to open your arms and welcome one such child into your home. Jesus promises that if you do, you are, in reality, welcoming Him into your home. Just imagine – Christ, in your home! Child protection services always seem desperate to find good, stable homes for their children, and there are tens of thousands of children in North America alone, waiting to be adopted and to finally belong. Could it be that God chose you, with your unique past and life story, to bring comfort and healing to one of His precious children? In Jesus’ name, let’s step out in the glory of God’s grace and love and “comfort those in any trouble”!
Conny is a homeschooling mother of three children, foster mom, and farmer in Amherstburg, Ontario. She and her husband of fifteen years are passionate about the calling of God to care for His forgotten treasures – orphans and foster children. They are actively involved in their church, have been on several missions trips throughout the world, and are following the Lord’s direction to raise awareness and mobilize His people to defend the cause of the fatherless and those without a voice.