Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Last month, Mark’s dad went home to be with the Lord after a long illness. It was hard watching him go downhill to the point he didn’t know anyone and couldn’t even get out of bed. While the death of my own dad was rough, it was comforting to know that a heart attack took him home to heaven quickly without any pain.
We learned of his death as we were preparing to go to church. We had just prayed before breakfast asking the Lord to take Marvin home in His own time when the phone rang. Afterwards, we continued to get ready and went on to church.
As I told members of my Sunday School class the news they offered their condolences and support. The same was true with Mark and the news quickly spread through church. I told my class there was no where I would rather be at that time than with my church family who loves me and is always there when I need them.
The outpouring of love was truly amazing as members of our church family came to see us. Many of them brought food while others offered help in other areas. The love and support they showed was a great comfort to us as preparations were made for the funeral.
A large number of our church family were on hand the day of the funeral to lend their support. Most of them had to take the day off from work. Two of our friends drove over a hundred miles to be with us. They came even though they had to return home soon after because of a prior commitment. Others eagerly accepted when asked to help with the funeral service with one person coming 200 miles.
When we walked into our church’s fellowship hall following the funeral, dinner was waiting for us. Even after we ate, there was still a large amount of food packaged up and sent home with us. I didn’t have to cook for several days.
Memorials and cards continue to arrive from friends who were just hearing the news. Everywhere we go we seem to run into someone who just heard and wanted to offer his or her condolences. In short, knowing that so many people cared is a big comfort to us.
All that I shared leads to some important truths that will I pray help others. While these events applied to our lives it just goes to show how important is the love and support from other believers. It goes back to the old saying, “no man is an island”. Although there are those who think they are self-sufficient, when the storms come into our lives, we need others.
First off, our comfort comes directly from the Lord. The Psalmist stated, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”. (Psalm 23:4) Jesus promised comfort for those in need, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) While we always have the comfort of the Lord, it is also comforting to have someone physically there to lend his or her comfort.
It is important to step up to plate so to speak when there is a need in the lives of those we know. Using our spiritual gifts we work together to aid someone during a time of need. There were those who took care of our physical needs while others were there with us, not saying much but lending their support through their presence.
There is no reason why any of us should go through a crisis alone when help is near by. I am so thankful for friends and church family who came along side us in our time of need. I want to thank each and everyone of them for their wonderful gift, the gift of themselves.
I am also thankful when God uses me to help another one in need. Though I am physically unable to do as much as I once did God allows me to still be of use to Him. Are you willing to be used of God to help someone in need? What a wonderful gift it is to comfort one another.