This past week was the week of hair loss, hours of debilitating headaches, nausea, insomnia and the realization that I am on chemo.
Yet this has also been the week of celebrating the joys of getting-to-do the mundane. Preparing a meal, creating an online shopping order, addressing Christmas cards, washing and folding a load of laundry, wrapping a Christmas gift, making annual cheese balls, dipping chocolate pretzels and making peppermint and almond bark.
As the week continued to progress, the good began to outweigh the days of laying low. For this I have been grateful!
Yet in the not so good days, I have found that during this holy season that God has increased my awareness to pray for those who are struggling.
The lives of those who seem to live in a perpetual state of loss. The wavering uncertainty of deliberating minds, simply unable to choose a good path. The overbearing anxiety that takes ones breath away or the empty place-setting at a festive Christmas table.
In the long days when stillness, quietness and darkness has helped me to combat the piercing headaches, I have found that prayer has moved in. Yes. A prayer for myself; yet also a prayer for the rise of another. For it is out of our own trouble that we will be able to offer comfort to others in their time of need.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT) comes to mind. “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
I am seeing that through my personal struggle that I have a renewed longing to lift others from their own personal sorrow and strife. I hurt for their hurts. I have been told that I have been given a heart full of mercy, yet, through the power of Christ’s redemption, mercy has been extended to all of us to give.
It is my hope at this holy season that we can all remember one hard time that we have personally encountered. May this remembrance become the source of comfort to someone else. For comfort given to us in our time of need is not a gift to cling to but one to pass on.
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray, cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Immanuel!
Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design
Drawing strength from the God of all comfort.