Devotion for the Week...
One day last week I spoke with a new mom who has suffered some baby blues these first couple of weeks after her baby was born. I couldn't really relate, because I never went through that, but there was another mom with us who had gone through it and could relate. She could tell that new mom, "I understand. I was there too. I know how you feel."
It's a phenomenon I've seen a lot. Whenever moms gather, no matter how varied the ages of our children, we share stories. Inevitably, there are struggles with discipline, or feeding, or sleeping schedules or whatever it may be, and some of the other moms offer their own stories of how they got through that same sort of problem. Moms are really great at encouraging each other through those tough times, and at offering hope that it is possible to get through them while also preserving your sanity! As I know from experience, sometimes it helps just to know that someone else has dealt with what you're dealing with.
It works for non-childrearing problems too. In fact,the Bible says, "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).
This world is full of problems. Some are small in the grand scheme of things, like 'my child is a picky eater' and others are much bigger, like 'I've just been given a scary diagnosis.' No matter what we are facing, we sometimes feel alone in it. We feel like no one understands what we are going through, that no one has been where we are. Feeling alone can make the problem feel even bigger, and scarier, than it already is.
But God doesn't leave us there, feeling alone. He sends help, in the form of another person who does actually understand, who knows what we are going through and offers us hope and comfort. You see, no matter how much you feel like no one understands, odds are that someone else has gone through a similar enough situation that they can offer you help and hope.
Maybe you're not ready to
talk yet, though. That's fine. Maybe you'll never be ready to share your story
with everyone. That's fine too. Some things are just too personal to
share with the general public. But if you are able to talk, even to only
a couple of people, then I am willing to bet you will find comfort and
hope in the process of sharing your situation. And, eventually, your
story will probably be a source of comfort and hope for someone else too.
As our verse says, God plans it that way. He loves to work through people, offering encouragement to those who are discouraged, comfort to those who are hurting, a listening ear to those who just need to talk. Really, no matter what form of comfort you need, God can use another person to offer it. And then, sometime down the road, it will be your turn to take the comfort you've been given, along with the hope and encouragement, and pass it on to someone else.