Sunday, October 14, 2007

Take comfort

A very good friend is feeling down as all kinds of misfortunes happen to her. Her husband has alzheimer disease and is placed in an institution, her mother has a stroke and she herself has two breasts removed because of cancer. Her daughter is divorced and has since moved to the States. Soon my friend will have to go for an operation to remove her ovaries, uterus etc to prevent the spread of cancer to those places.
No wonder she does not want to answer phone calls from friends and is reluctant to meet up with us, her old friends of many years.
How do we offer comfort to people like her who seem to suffer one misfortune after another?
Now, I understand why God leads me to read the Book of Job and related books based on the theme of sufferings. Why do man have to suffer?
The book 'Take comfort' -Encouraging words from second Corinthians by Bob Russell was what I found at the Church Library.
In the first chapter 'Comfort-able living', I read that the two greatest human needs met by God are forgiveness and comfort. Everyone is a sinner and needs God's peace. Suffering is a normal part of every Christian life, just as sin is. 'The sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives.' (2 Corinthians 1:5 )
The Bible teaches us from the very beginning that suffering is a natural part of every life lived in this contaminated world.
'Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.'( Job 5:7)