The Common Thread

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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 have received from God.”. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

This verse has always had a special meaning to me. You know those times when you cry out to God, “WHY are You allowing this to happen to me?” Sometimes I’ve found that this verse is the only response. He is allowing me to go through this situation so that later I will be better able to comfort others going through the same situation.

It’s called compassion. It’s that instantaneous, sympathetic awareness of what others’ are going through along with the desire to alleviate their distress.

It’s the power of being able to say: I’ve been there. I got through it. God will get you through it too.

To the woman who has suffered the loss of a pregnancy.

To the person who suddenly finds themself out of work.

To the couple going through a time of betrayal and distrust.

To the individual grieving over the death of a loved one.

Those are the times that we’re not looking for advice or answers. Really all we want is a knowing look, a squeeze of the hand and that thread of common experience that binds us.

God doesn’t promise us that in following Him we will be free from troubles. James 1:2 actually says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” He doesn’t say if, he says when.

It’s not fun. It’s not my preference.

However, it is comforting to know that in walking through times of trial and tribulation I will have another area to connect with my fellow-man. I will have another opportunity to share how God showed His love for me despite my circumstances and how He will do the same for others.

I have gained compassion.

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**This post is linked up as part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival on Compassion.

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13 thoughts on “The Common Thread

  1. There have been times in my life when I wonder why God would allow me to suffer. It is not until I get out of the valley that I understand what I’ve been thru strengthens me and qualifies me to help another who may be going thru similar struggles. We are meant to live in community with one another. What a great reminder this post is. Thanks.

    • Thanks Kathy! There are things I look back on and, while I’m not happy they happened, I can see how it’s enabled me to relate to others in a new way. I totally agree with you about His plan for us to be in community with one another. Sometimes I have the tendency to pull away when I’m going through a trying time, but as I’m growing I see that it’s not the best way. :)

    • God has definitely used this verse numerous times in my life to comfort me as I’ve gone through difficult times. Glad to hear you connect with this as well. :)

  2. These words are so true…

    However, it is comforting to know that in walking through times of trial and tribulation I will have another area to connect with my fellow-man.

    It’s never fun, but we do learn and then have an opportunity to show compassion to others who may need it.

    Thanks, Melissa.

  3. “When we honestly ask ourselves which person mean the most to us, it is those who can be silent with us, tolerate not knowing, not curing.That is a friend who cares.” ~ Nouwen

    It takes faith to take the hard stuff, look at it straight in the eye — and use it as strength to “see” others with that compassion.

    It could have taken you in the wrong direction, but you are using your compassion to reach others.

    This will all result in a harvest you’ll see later. Keep sowing those seeds of compassion, Melissa. And encourage us right along with you!

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