One of the most powerful statements I’ve ever heard is, “I know.”
When my life was plagued by years of chronic illness brought on by Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, I often felt that no one in the world understood me. Questions swirled in my mind. Why me? Why this? And when will it end?
After one particularly long battle with insomnia that rolled in for several weeks, depression sank my heart into a bottomless pit. I could see no way out of the spiritual and physical struggle that I faced. Curled into a ball on my couch, a whisper slipped out, “Lord, help me.” At that moment, the phone rang and I answered to hear the kind voice of my aunt. “Rosann, I was praying for you and wanted to see how you are doing?”
“Not good.” I choked out the pain that consumed me and I told her about the drudgery I faced.
“I know.” Her compassion seeped through the line; it was all I needed to hear to gain composure.
Then she shared with me stories of God’s comforting presence during her own battles with poor health and depression, and I knew she did know what I was going through. Her tender understanding of what I was experiencing extended the lifeline I needed to endure another day.
As I recall that day years ago, it reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s declaration to the Corinthians: “ 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” (2 Cor. 1:3-4 ESV).
Paul’s words reveal a powerful truth: we share the goodness and faithfulness of God best when we share from our own experience of suffering. And we bring honor to God when we do so.
If my aunt had not experienced pain or despair, she would have never been able to extend true understanding to me. And because she had experienced the Lord’s comforting presence in her own suffering, she was able to assure me that Jesus was right there with me in the middle of my struggle.
I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll never fully understand all the reasons why I’ve experienced such hardships in life until I see Jesus face-to-face. But one of the reasons why I can be thankful that God allowed such pain is because now I can extend a hand to others who are walking along their own dark paths of suffering.
Like my aunt did for me, I can assure hurting hearts that God is in the middle of the struggle. He is faithful (Ps. 36:5). He is good (Ps. 145:9). And He is bringing a beautiful purpose from the pain (Rom. 8:18).
Friend, I’m not sure what difficulty you face today. But I am certain that the God of all comfort is with you and your struggle is not in vain. As He proves Himself faithful, bless His name by spreading the wonder of His goodness with other hurting souls.
About the Author:
Rosann Coulon has experienced disappointment, pain, and loss. Through it all she has learned that God is faithful. Her desire is to spread biblical hope and encouragement to those living in hard seasons. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and family. Rosann has written for various online publications, including The Round Farmhouse, CarinaAlanson.com, Gather at Dawn, Just Between Us, and Calla Press.
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