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
When I received the message I immediately started praying, it said that my friend’s father had to be rushed to the hospital because he wasn’t breathing.
How could this be?
Was there even a sign of this happening?
Wasn’t he fine yesterday?
If I was this nervous and scared, how was she coping?
Then, what I dreaded was what I heard about an hour later, he had passed away. I prayed, but my hands were shaking and my heart was crushed, I felt broken, so I was sure that she found it even more unbearable.
I wept for my friend, and in part, for myself. Having lost my father almost 2 years ago, I relived every feeling of grief and heartache. I sobbed and begged God to comfort her as He comforted me. I’m sure the Holy Spirit was present in her time of sorrow, but He immediately reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. The Lord wanted me to be of comfort to my friend. I experienced the loss, and also His healing and comfort in my time of grief, I was now able to pour into someone else.
I cannot deny that I was afraid to visit my friend, I wasn’t sure what I had to offer her. She kept asking me to visit because she believed that I was the only one who could relate.
How could I help someone else when I was still grieving?
I felt as if my father had passed away all over again. I didn’t want to break down and cause her more grief. But even if I did break down, the scriptures reminds us that even if we go out in our time of weeping to a sow seed of faith, we will return with songs of joy carrying a great reward. I’m paraphrasing Psalm 126:6.
The Holy Spirit is always present to help us to respond in a way that will bring about the Father’s glory and His purposes. I prayed and asked the Lord to give me words of comfort, and if He wanted me to be there just to listen, that I would do that also.
I was bursting with joy just listening to my friend share her faith even in her time of sorrow. Just as my father’s passing brought me closer to the Lord, and what I thought would have surely destroyed me, brought about a growth in faith and encouragement, I’m now seeing this in my friend. Her words brought me comfort, just as I sought to comfort her. The Lord was present and His faithfulness was once again proven. He wanted to bring healing to my heart while using me to bring healing and hope to someone else.
I’m happy I obeyed the Lord. It was frightening at first, but He has done great things. So, I encourage you today to draw close to the hurting and choose to pour into others the way you have been poured into. The Lord has showed me, yet again, that ministry does not require perfection but a heart willing and ready to share what He has given. This is why He created the body of believers. His grace is available to help us to meet the body the way He wants us to.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. – Psalm 126:6
By Roxann, In The Cool Of The Day
Photo Credit: Whitney JustesenLeave a Comment
Oh, Roxann… such a good reminder. Why is it so threatening to reach out to others sometimes?! I love how you brought the focus to the Body of Believers and our mandate to care for and love each other. Thank you.
Thanks Christan. When we lose sight of the greater call to love others, we shrink back and neglect the body (as I do most times). I’m still learning to love, it’s easy for me to be alone and not be lonely. I still lean on the encouragement of the Holy Spirit to reach out. It’s difficult to reach out when we’re hurting, but Jesus has something greater in store for us when we do.
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Haley Goodman says
Roxann! Girl, I loved this! Thank you for your words. Such encouragement to me. I haven’t experienced a parent passing, but have experienced great loss in terms of a family member dealing with drug use the past two years. Its so hard to sometimes give emotionally and with words of encouragement to others going through similar situations, as I don’t know what will happen to my own loved one someday. I sometimes don’t feel like I am equipped to give when I myself am grieving the loss of people’s perception of our large family unit, but your words remind me that “ministry doesn’t require perfection”….Amen! God still uses us! Love to you! xo
It’s a hard gift to give, isn’t it? I’ve felt the same about comforting friends who’ve lost parents. It’s been nearly 20 years since my mom died – hard to wrap my head around that – and still it can feel as fresh as yesterday when I hold a grieving friend. Thank you for showing us how to give through the grief. The only way to redeem it. Thank you.
It can be so hard sometimes, Lisa-Jo. I want to reach out, but it’s so difficult. The emotions are still so raw and it hurts all over again when someone close to me is grieving. I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m also thankful that you’re able to minister through it because it shows me that there’s hope for me still.
Haley, thanks for reaching out to me and I’m so sorry to hear about your family member. I will pray for your family. God is so good to us, He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve and He doesn’t waste our experiences. God is still able to use us because of who He is, we just need to make ourselves available. He’s perfect, it’s His perfect sacrifice that brings healing and comfort to us and equips us to serve others.
I’m still learning to reach out, and I encourage you to continue reaching out as He leads. Grace to you, His great grace is sufficient.
Donna M. says
Roxann, Thanks for this post! Grieving comes in many forms. You may grieve the loss of a loved one or the hurt of something a loved one did. Maybe the hurt of your husband having broken a trust…….etc. Grieving is painful no matter what. One of the most powerful gifts our Lord provided me with was to be able to take my hurt and be there for others who also were dealing with pain similar to mine. Having someone who has been there and made it through whatever the greif may be is soooo encouraging to the person in pain. It helps restore faith and grows hope for a new normal. I hated hearing about a new normal I had to greive the loss of my old normal to be able to embrace my new normal! Embracing this has provided me with such a gift to share with others. Praise God!
Donna, I know what you mean. Change can be so scary and difficult, but we’re able to embrace the changes because of our constant God. God is able to use whatever we encounter in this life for His glory and the healing of our hearts and the hearts of others. He encourages us to put ourselves ‘out there’ whenever He leads so that we can display His love to others and experience the healing He brings.