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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,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.

This passage is amazing to me. It’s so simple.

Why do we struggle? Why do we go through things? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do children have to hurt? I don’t even want to go down that road, but what stands out to me in this passage is the answer to the next question: I’m in this situation, now what? What can I do?

You’re struggling, treading water maybe. You’re suffocating under the burden of financial worse, regret, guilt, pain… what do I do? I’m a part of an amazing group of parents who have children who suffer terrible pain on a regular basis. A very common thought that is shared is – what do I do now? When the doctors aren’t giving me any answers, when nothing is working, what do I do?

There’s so many ways to answer those questions, but let’s not overlook this gem the Holy Spirit has given us in 2 Corinthians: as God comforts you in your situation, use that and comfort other people who also suffer. Relate to other people. Share your experiences. Find that common ground and gain strength in doing so. Share the comfort and hope you have found in Christ.

Our daughters suffers tremendously on a daily basis. Because of her experience, because of her pain, she is able to connect with people in a way that I can’t. A friend in the congregation we worship with had some stroke like symptoms. One of the things he struggled with was the slurred speech. When she heard this, her immediate response was “He’s just like me!” She was able to relate to him in a way that nobody else could. They had that shared experience.

I don’t know why you’re struggling or hurting. I don’t know why things are happening to you. But know that in your difficulty you have an opportunity and ability others might not have – the ability to connect with others in similar situations and struggling with similar burdens. Take that opportunity, connect with others and support and strengthen others and in most importantly share the source of your own comfort – the Father of mercies and God of all comfort