Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Portions to Share

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” By Abraham Lincoln

If you take what Abraham Lincoln said and put it together with what Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 (NKJV) it tells us a lot. “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 tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Indeed the best way to share comfort is to forget our own heartache. We need to do what our children like to do and have selective memory. Forgetting the heartaches and remembering the comfort we received from it. Comfort is not for us to keep but to share. It’s like a loaf of friendship bread or whatever they call it. You take the dough someone gives you and add to it and then divide it up giving your friends a portion of the dough while you cook your own loaf of bread. Soon in your circle of friends you run out of people to give it to because everyone has already had their portion.

That’s the way it should be with comfort. We receive it from God Himself and we are to take portions of it, add to it and give it out to those around us. Soon it grows to something that is very big that has touched many lives. Basically it’s a process of building bridges over the rough times and it’s our responsibility to go back over the bridge of comfort and help others across. Oddly enough when we do this we find our own healing as we set aside our pain to help others across.

Some of the best comfort received is that coming from someone who has “been there and done that.” They know the pain and they share the comfort that helped them through it. No one in life should be left on the side of the street without the comfort needed to go on. Several years ago in our area a young girl was killed in a single car accident, a hundred miles away another mom had just dealt with a similar situation when she lost her daughter the same way. In the middle was a mutual friend of the two that connected them together in order for the comfort to spread and the healing process to begin and end for them both and it did.

Another thing Abraham Lincoln’s advice does for us is it makes us stop and realize that our heartaches are not as bad as we often make them out to be. It gets our focus where it needs to be, on others rather than ourselves. It replaces pity parties with comfort in the form of a listening ear, a gentle hug, an encouraging word, a signed card, an available shoulder to cry on. It forces us to listen to our own advice as we let the comfort begin.
It starts with comfort from God Himself through His Word and His Spirit. Don’t keep the whole loaf to yourself, add to it and hand it out to those around you. Don’t leave home without it but don’t come home without it either.

Speaking of leaving, don’t leave without joining the circle of sharing in today’s quote. Our lovely host is Susan over at FOREVER HIS. We are forever His (God’s) and right there is a comfort in itself to hang on to and to share with others who don’t know that blessed truth.

Portions of comfort I have received over the years and want to portion out:

You’re not alone, God has not abandoned you
You CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you
God loves you, He cares, don’t ever doubt that
You’re not exempt from God’s love and forgiveness.
Your situation is not unique; it’s nothing God can’t handle
This moment too shall pass, they all do
Quitting the race doesn’t end the race; you need to run to win
As long as God’s on the throne don’t count me out
The light at the end of the tunnel is not a train it’s the completion of a journey, the hope we strive for, the comfort we needed to endure
Satan may be able to trip us but he can’t make us fall when we are holding on to God
You’re not alone, you’re not alone

Oh dear, here I go a babbling again. I would like to list all the comforts I have received but there’s not enough paper or page to hold them all yet they fit in my heart thanks to Jesus. Thanks to Jesus.


Debbie said...

Karen, I love that 2 Corinthians verse. Your post is so true and helpful. I know that I tend to listen more to someone who has been there and gone through what I'm going through. I know they really understand. Isn't it awesome how the Lord will bring people together to offer comfort? Sometimes, it comes from the most unlikely places.

You write beautifully!

Susan said...

Thanks Karen, I'm sooooooooo blessed you joined us today.

I look forward to your posts each Tuesday!

This was soooooooooo good.

I love the examples you used, and will remember them.

Thanks also for passing on those words of comfort to all of us today.

Blessings to you this day!

Laurie Ann said...

Absolutely awesome post! Love the analogy of the friendship bread. Once I kept too much to myself and ended up with way too many loaves, LOL. I counted that as a lesson. Also, loved your list of comforts you've received through the years. Great post all the way around, and an excellent call to arms to forget our heartaches by easing someone else's load. It's very freeing!

MiPa said...

Karen, this post is like a soothing balm of encouragement. Bless you for sharing.

Michelle Bentham said...

Loved the Friendship Bread analogy. Bread... a comfort food.


Esthermay said...

II Cor 1:3-4 is a favorite/life verse for me and you've done a wonderful work of putting a narrative to it!
The "friendship bread" parallel is such a perfect way to visualize the process. If we could all live in the sandals of the NewTestament Christians, I think we'd "get it."
Wonderful interpretation of Pres. Lincoln's words!

Denise said...

Such an awesome post.

lori said...

"comfort is not for us to keep, but to share!!"
I LOVE that!! It should be on every fridge in America!!

What a blessing your posts are...so complete and thoughtful!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing today and how appropriate with the Corinthians verse. What an encouragement!