Thursday, April 05, 2007

Give and Take

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that we ourselves have received from God” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

During my yearly get-away to the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference I had the meltdown of all meltdowns. Nothing bad happened to trigger it. It was just one of those moments when the right words from the speaker followed by time alone with God helped me see my need to let go of some painful things that I’d been working through. So it was a good meltdown. But my roommates didn’t know that when they returned to our room and found me in tears. Without trying to force an examination out of me, they wrapped their arms around me, surrounding me with love and comfort. They knew enough about what I’d gone through lately to sense that I probably just needed to empty myself once and for all. It turned into a sweet time of sharing and getting to know one another more deeply and we all went to bed worn out but grateful for the late night therapy session.

Two days later a friend from one of my classes nearly collapsed from fatigue brought on by on-going health problems. One of my roommates and I checked on her, only to have her melt into tears of frustration. She so wanted to feel better so she could enjoy the rest of the conference instead of feeling like she was putting others out. This time it was my turn to offer comfort—to wrap my arms around a hurting friend and assure her that I, the friend who sat on the other side of her, and many others loved her dearly.

The experience stood as a reminder of the wonderful privilege we have as sisters in Christ, to both receive love and give it. God sent friends to catch my tears then allowed me to soak up someone else’s. It had been a long time since I’d had such an obvious and extreme give and take within a short period of time. I began to wonder if God wanted me at the conference especially for that. If so, I’m thankful to Him.

Paul reminded us that we receive comfort from God in times of need (sometimes through others) so we’ll know how to offer the same support to others. How has God sent comfort to you recently? Who do you know who is in need of some? Pray for an opportunity to give what you have graciously received.

In His Love,

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