3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 ESV
I love sleeping, and falling asleep at night was never a problem. But COVID changed it. One of the worst states I had during COVID was that I was restless at night. One night I was fatigued, but my mind was wide awake. It was sending a mixed message to my exhausted body. I turned on soft sleeping music and tried to close my eyes and position myself comfortably. I would fall asleep for a few seconds, but soon some sudden shocks that came across my mind would wake me up. I felt stuck in between getting rest and staying awake. It was extremely uncomfortable! So I prayed and asked for the Lord’s help. While praying to God that night, I remembered those who chronically could not sleep. At that moment, I could finally understand their pain and frustration of being restless at night!
God is the God of ALL comfort – not some, but ALL.
Sometimes I would hear this question – “Had Jesus experienced this same sickness I am having?” If not, how can He understand me and comfort me?” It is wonderfully true that the Son of God took on flesh, and He can feel our pain and know our hurts as human beings. But does God have to go through the same suffering to understand our pain? I do not think so! We have our limits, and we may not be able to understand what someone having a chronic sickness have to endure if we have not experienced that ourselves. But God is different! His promise to us is that He is the God of ALL comfort, who would comfort us in ALL our troubles – not just some, but ALL. Jesus does not have to experience COVID to heal and comfort me. Because by His nature, God is the Father of mercies, and He is compassionate. We can approach Him and bring all our burdens, sicknesses, pain, and suffering to Him and receive comfort from our Comforter.
He comforts us so we can comfort those who are in affliction.
When we are in a condition of great distress, pain, or suffering, naturally, we would want our suffering to end. We want to be healed and comforted, and that is it. But God has a higher and better plan than ours! Not only would He heal and comfort us, but with His comfort, we can also be a comforter, a blessing, to those in pain and distress. This is also a bonus and a gift to us! Now that I’ve experienced COVID, I would know what to say and offer help to someone with that sickness. And because I’ve also experienced how uncomfortable being restless at night, I’ve learned to think for those who cannot sleep.
Dear Lord, you are the God of all comfort because you are a merciful and compassionate God. In times of trouble, help me to look beyond my pain and distress, and to find comfort in you, and trust that you can turn my suffering into a blessing to others.