“And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:7 (NIV)
A few months ago I was at a traditional music festival and I fell into conversation with a lady I had met there a number of times in previous years. For some reason the fact that I was a Christian came up and she said something that really threw me. She told me that she used to be a Christian but had stopped on 24th June 2009 (not the real date) and that the reason for this was it was the day her beautiful 19 year old daughter was killed in a car accident. It was an awful tragedy and my heart went out to her as her pain was clearly still very acute.
But this set me to thinking and finally I concluded that she was very wrong. She had been a Christian for many years and during that time she was no doubt aware of other people losing their children tragically, and she still had faith. She knew about the holocaust, and she still had faith. She knew of famines and earthquakes and wars, and she still had faith. In other words she could accept tragedy in other people’s lives and still have faith, but she could not accept tragedy in hers.
I have suffered tragedy in my life but not losing a child. It is a pain I can’t even begin to imagine so I do not presume to know how I would react in the same circumstances. But it would be a mistake to think that God is just for me and if my life is no good then God is no good—that it is ok that others suffer but not that I do. This is a very hard thing to accept and I acknowledge that. No-one’s life is without suffering and pain, but if we lose our connection to God we lose our connection to his comfort too and the hope we have in him—that is what we must cling to.
Lord, help me to bear the sufferings that life heaps on my head and still have the hope and love I have in you as my guide. Comfort me.
Study by Jenny Baldwin
About the Author:
Jenny Baldwin attends the Edinburgh Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.
Worldwide Church of God Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
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