Advent Word of the Day - Comfort

These things bring me comfort (in no particular order):

Bubble baths, mac & cheese, heavy blankets, a soft robe, my husband, blazing campfire, my toes in the sand, my pink afghan, my kids, warm sun on my face, "grandma" cookies, a good book, Lake Nancy, purring cats, a giant hug (yes, for those who know me, sometimes I take comfort in a giant, sincere hug, I'm evolving into a hugger).

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Since the beginning of time there has been suffering. Meeting our basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, health, and love is a struggle. The stories in the bible illustrate over and over the challenges that we face. And over and over the bible tells us that God is our Comforter and that comfort often came in the help and support of other people.
The word comfort in this verse does not have that warm, fuzzy, feeling of sympathy or support. In the passage the word in Greek is "paraklesis" which means "strengthen or make strong." (Don't be too impressed - I had to look it up.) Moses had Aaron and Hur. Naomi had Ruth. David had Jonathon. Even Jesus, God in human form, drew strength and comfort from the disciples. When we go through troubles God is there to give us strength so when others face the same trials we can be there to give them strength.

God works with us and through us to strengthen each other.

Did you hear that in the back? We can’t and shouldn’t and don’t have to do this thing called life on our own. We are supposed to be in it together.

Give comfort to one another, but just as important, ACCEPT comfort from others.
Thus saith the Lord (as imperfectly interpreted by me).

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