Paul is so upfront about himself, his joys and sorrows, his victories and failures. I have to confess I’m not always so in touch with my own feelings, or honest about what is going on in my life.
As I read this portion of Scripture it occurs to me that Paul isn’t asking for sympathy, or a payoff from the church. I think his only motive was to share with them what he had received.
Isn’t it interesting that the word we use for a big old, soft and warm blanket is “comforter?” I live in southern Georgia, so while much of the country is dealing with freezing temperatures, it’s still in the mid 60’s here during the day.
The nights, however, are getting chilly. Last night got into the 30’s, and I was cold. So when I went to bed, I snuggled under the comforter instead of pushing it aside like I normally do. Ahh. It felt so good. And it wasn’t long before I was toasty warm, relaxed, and then sound asleep, even with the cold temperatures outside the warmth of that comforter.
We all go through rough patches in life. We make poor choices, or someone else does, and our lives get hard. Sometimes it feels as though we are alone in our struggle. Then someone comes along, wraps us up in strong arms, and lets us receive the comfort we need. That’s what Paul is doing here in this letter to the Corinthians.
John Henry Jowett said: “God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.”
Have you ever been the recipient of God’s comfort through one of His children? Then pass it on to someone who needs that same comfort through you. Call them, or better yet give them a visit. Wrap your arms around them while they weep. Listen to them without trying to give solutions to their problems. Share the love of Jesus at a time when they might feel totally unloved. Let them snuggle in the comfort you have to offer, even if the problems around them aren’t going away.
We have a very real privilege to be a comforter in a world that needs comforting.