Once again, science proves the Word of God to be correct. It’s no wonder the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, commanded us to shape our brains for optimism: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8, emphasis mine).

The God of All Comfort

When one of my friends was visiting, she asked, “I wonder what God has for you in this down time.”

I pondered that during my personal devotions one day, and the verse that came to mind was from the opening section of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. “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” (emphasis mine).

Our heavenly Father refers to Himself as “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” I did see that in the care I received from others. But now I have a fresh awareness of the inconveniences and loneliness of disabilities — temporary or otherwise. And I want to be one used by God to comfort others with the comfort I’ve received. While I knew about these needs prior to this recent injury (I have been on crutches three times before!), I now possess a renewed emotional awareness that I pray will result in increased empathy and care toward others. I want to be listening to the Holy Spirit and be used to care for the injured and hurting members of His body. As one commentary states, Paul speaks of comfort as encouragement and strengthening grace in the midst of troubles. This Greek word translated as comfort means “a calling to one’s side” for exhortation, consolation, or comfort. What a wonderful word picture of comfort — someone at your side, extending care.

To my dear single friends reading this column, I would say, let’s be carriers of God’s comfort to one another. Whether married or single, each of us has to depend on the God of all comfort. Let’s not shrink back from asking Him to meet our needs when we’re unsure of whom to rely upon, nor shrink back from being used by Him to carry the comfort we’ve received from Him to another hurting member of His body. The loneliness that we can experience at times can be turned into a moment to comfort another. Our experiences are designed by a loving God to make us more like Him, including His comforting and compassionate nature.

Carolyn McCulley is the author of "Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred" and a contributor to the new book, "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ" (both from Crossway). She was also the featured guest recently on the Revive Our Hearts radio show with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. For other articles or audio messages, please visit her website at www.carolynmcculley.com. She’s still on crutches, so she has the time to read comments or questions sent to info@carolynmcculley.com!