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 we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Recently I was talking with someone who had just finished undergoing chemo treatments for cancer. I listened with genuine concern as they shared about the emotional roller coaster. They finished the conversation with the traditional, “you know what i mean?” I responded affirmatively, “Yes.” Pause. Pause. “Not really. I understand what you are saying, but I haven’t had to walk out your trial to truly feel your pain.”
If you are living, then trials will come. Sharing those trials with others creates hope and actually helps them cope with their own trial. We are not talking about the external pressure of the trial, but rather the internal commotion that is occuring within your thoughts.
HELPS Word-studies adds this definition for the word trouble or affliction. 2347 thlípsis – properly, pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that “hems someone in”; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, “without options”). 2347 /thlípsis (“compression, tribulation”) carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is “no way of escape” (“hemmed in”).
Share your pain. All of us have junk that is going on in our lives. We have health issues, family struggles, relationships that aren’t working, financial decisions, job conflicts, housing and car issues. God is active in the middle of your pain, even when you feel there is no way out. With humility, take opportunities to share with others at the appropriate time how God is working. You do not have to share with everyone, but sharing is important. Sharing brings hope for them and is a release valve of the pressures for you.
Vulnerability keeps you humble. It’s okay to share with God your deepest fears, regrets, and mistakes. It reminds us that we are human and not perfect like God. It is equally important that we are authentic with others. They may need to hear your stories so that they can make it through their pain. A broken vessel in God’s kingdom economy has great value. Where are you letting His strength be displayed in your struggles of life?
Jesus healed a blind man whose story brings repeated comfort for many today in the song Amazing Grace. “I once was blind, but now I see.” Are you free to share your “I once” afflictions? Does it feel too personal? Are you too prideful to share your pain?
When you are comforted, its has a dual purpose. You receive the immediate benefit of the comfort, but your sharing about that comfort can be a salve that helps others along life’s journey.
Blessings, Love y’all