“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has giveN us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT)
Turnabout. A reciprocal action or the act of doing to someone exactly as that person has done to oneself or another. At least that’s how the dictionary defines the act of what we’ve learned modeled from God’s word.
God comforts us, therefore, we comfort others. We can because we speak from experience. I mean, who among us hasn’t struggled? My strong, church-sister mom, single and bearing the weight of raising four children alone, taps God’s shoulders daily for a place to rest. My other church sister remains prayerful through her son’s addiction battle, but when news hit that her daughter in-law succumbed to unlawful trappings, my friend felt the sting of the enemy for her grand babies.
No, we are not exempt from trouble, but we are not excluded from comfort. We receive from God what we need and we turnabout when others need it most from us. We fight on our knees for them. We imagine better for them. We may sit quietly in the ashes with them.
Why? Turnabout. Read Isaiah 61:1-4. Before the Comforter breathed His first breathe, He spoke a promise of comfort and fulfilled it in His hometown when He read those same words in the synagogue:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18, 19, NLT
For me, two tea drinkers sat in a coffee shoppe giving one another strong doses of encouragement. My friend and I attempted to connect the disconnected wires of our life’s experiences. She illuminated insights I saw improbable up to that point. Though I wasn’t experiencing a season of calamity, I knew trouble morphs in our lives like the fluctuating changes of an autumn day. My friend helped me avert a troubling scenario brushstroked with puzzling questions, confusing directions and unmet expectations. She knew because she was once familiar with the terrain. Instead, comfort in that coffee shoppe felt more like an enjoyable visit between dear friends wanting the very best from each other and leaving there thoroughly satisfied.
Turnabout. It’s a funny word we don’t often use in everyday conversation, but you don’t need a dictionary to understand the beauty comfort brings from the one who’s experienced trouble first hand. Turnabout indeed.