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. (II Corinthians 1: 3-4)
As I was meditating on this powerful passage this morning, that old hymn came marching into my mind.
“Make me a channel of blessing today make me a channel of blessing, I pray… ” (Oh, how I miss the rich old hymns!)
I tell you, that II Corinthians scripture describes an amazing, divinely-ordained process!
In our lives there will be hassles, headaches, and deep,deep heartaches. Believers are not exempt. Those who walk in faith do not get to skip them. The most well-laid human plans do not thwart them.
We are “citizens” in a natural world where sin, sickness, and death are rampant. But praise God, our real citizenship is in the Kingdom of God! We do not have to be controlled by what we see and experience in this natural, crazy world. That means that when tragedy hits, triumph is possible. When sickness rages, God’s peace commands precedence. When our hearts are broken, God’s comfort sustains us and sees us through to walk again – even run.
All of that would be astounding enough. But it doesn’t stop there.
We get the privilege of being conduits of that same godly comfort to others who are hurting. There’s just something about a loving conversation with a person who has “been there.” The healing touch of someone who has been healed carries special significance and energy. Seeing a live example of a survivor who is also thriving is a powerful infusion of hope when the events of your own life are trying to suck the life from your future.
God in no way causes it all, but boy, can He use it all! That which the enemy of your soul meant to harm and destroy you can miraculously be transformed into an instrument of healing for you and for others. Your own foolish choices do not disqualify you from this process. Dizzying tragedy does not. Don’t waste any of it!
Never let your channels become blocked with bitterness, guilt, or fear. What has happened to you has not destroyed you. If you are open, God will take even that and use it for good. He will flow His healing power through you.
With that same comfort that you received; with the same Holy Spirit power that raised you up when you wouldn’t have humanly bet a nickel on it; and with the emotional insight that is only present when you’ve been there – rise up! Your life is not over! When you refuse anger about your own situation, you experience a powerful compassion only generated by experience with pain. You’re better equipped now than ever before to counsel, comfort, and serve others!
Lord, make me a channel of the blessing of Your comfort today. You and I know about what I’ve been through in my life. Some tragedy was outside of my control, and many of my troubles were of my own making. But God, I praise You that the story does not end there. O my Lord, I surrender all of me and my experiences to You. Please use me to make a positive difference in the lives of others.