I started this a few weeks ago when I was a little cranky. I am trusting God and being comforted by his presence in my life. Still, we all go through times when life just does not feel OK and we could use comfort from a friend.
Why is is that when someone is struggling we tell them, "it is going to be OK"? Is the reason they are struggling because they think it won't be?
Sometimes when I am stressed I tell this to myself, "it will be ok, it will be ok, it will be ok..."
But, is the real problem that I don't think long term it will be OK or is the real problem that at this very moment it isn't?
A friend's wife died last week. Will it be OK a year from now? 5 years from now? Yes with time it will be OK but, today, right now as he and his kids learn to live a life without her does it need to be OK? I doubt if feels very OK.
Yesterday I found out a neighbor's newborn baby died. Will it be Ok? Eventually yes, but not today, not this week, not for a while.
Will it be OK for the friend who can't find a job, is struggling in their marriage, having financial troubles, watching their child walk a destructive path, or, like us, in a transition and wondering where we will live next? Will we all be OK? Yes, it is going to be OK.
But today it isn't OK, and that is OK. Some days we struggle, some days the circumstances of life overcome us. Reminding me that it is going to be OK doesn't change the fact that I am the one who has to get from here to there.
How do we comfort those who struggle?
"Comfort those who suffer in body, mind and spirit". We pray that each Sunday during the prayers of the people asking God to bring comfort to His people. We believe in God's healing but while we do pray for those things we acknowledge that between today and healing we need to be comforted.
How do we comfort a friend? I am far from an expert on this topic but here are a few things that have comforted me at times:
A meal. I never think I need someone to make me a meal but when they show up on my doorstep it is so nice to have one less thing to problem solve on a stressful day.
A listening ear. Sometimes you just need to get the worry and fears out without judgement or advice.
A distraction. It can become overwhelming to sit in your mess all the time.
A break. When I am struggling I don't always say the right thing, do the right thing or follow through on tasks I promised to help with. It is all overwhelming and receiving understanding during that time is very comforting.
Help. When a person is struggling just the basic tasks of life can be overwhelming, even if it is unrelated to the problem it can be so comforting to get help with day to day tasks.
What comforts you when you are going through a hard time?