…who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.2 Corinthians 1:4
Have you found that trying to get life “back to normal” after your world has been turned upside down is simply overwhelming? Do you grow discouraged trying to adjust to your new life with burdens you formerly did not have? After my stroke I find myself wondering what purpose there is in these struggles.
The words of Paul to the Corinthians help me see purpose in times of sorrow and struggle. When God comforts me, I am uniquely equipped to take the comfort He gives and offer it in turn to others who also are hurting. More than I ever imagined, my contact with people in hospitals, in therapy units, in my neighborhood, and in my church presents chances to extend encouragement to others. My struggles are not pointless; they prepare me to better encourage others who are going through difficult times.
Even my wife and children— who have suffered much because of my stroke—take advantage of the opportunities God provides to comfort others. In God’s difficult-to-understand providence, our purpose is made clearer.
Might God’s purpose for your deep struggle be closer than you thought? Look to the people near you who may be comforted by you today.