By Robert Halsey Pine
Paul says to the Church in Corinth, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God…. He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:1-11)
We have an obligation when God touches us in a special way when we are hurting. Yes, we should thank Him, but if we really want to thank Him, we should console others for him: “…with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.”
In those special times when life closes in on us through illness or some other affliction or adversity and we receive God’s consolation, we should so re-cognize that this is something that we must pass on: To be God’s representative in someone else’s life. We can identify with their need and must act on it through that same gift that we received.
This is why community is so important to God and to us. We experience God through each other. It is an awesome responsibility when you think about it. God is counting on me to help carry out His will. We feel awkward at times being proactive in another’s situation. We don’t want to interfere, or we are embarrassed. We don’t feel worthy. But we should have confidence in God’s product. It’s the best on the market. We must tell others about it and recommend it. Through our personal experience, we can help others receive a blessing as we did.
“Heavenly Father, You have blessed my life many times when I was in need. I thank You and realize that I must carry these blessings forward to help others experience Your love and Grace. Father; give me the confidence and strength to console as You have consoled me. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.