People who may have had harsh, demanding, and abusive fathers may find it difficult to see God our Heavenly Father as kind, compassionate, and comforting. There’s the temptation to think, “Oh, compassion? That sounds like Jesus, but not our Father God.” Or we might shake our heads and say, “It is only the Holy Spirit who comforts us.”
Yet 2 Corinthian 1:3-4 is clear. It says, “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.”
We have a Father who comforts us. It says in Psalms 56:8, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” We have a Father whom we can run to; a Father we can call “Abba,” or loosely translated, “Daddy.”
And because He is DADDY, our Abba Father is interested in the details of our lives. He is interested in our stories where our tears need His grace; where our brokenness needs His wholeness.
Stories are always powerful. They help us connect with people. Details of our pain, our coping strategies, failures, victories, and hopes can serve as clues/guideposts to help others navigate through their own tests. People watch us. People check if God is real. People wonder if God loves them the way the Bible says He does. Our stories help people see God working in us and loving us despite our flaws, mistakes, and failures.
When done in humility, the sharing of our stories can lift those who are crushed in spirit. Just as we rejoice with those who rejoice, we should also know how to mourn with those who mourn. (see Romans 12:15)
Life will always be full of tests and tears. As long as we live in a sinful world, we will always know what it means to be wounded. However, every wound has its purpose. Every wound can make us see something new, like a facet of God’s heart that we may have never known in depth if we weren’t suffering.
It is always good to remember that God knows how our stories should unravel. Psalm 139:16 says, “…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God, the ultimate author and storyteller, knows exactly what is happening in our lives and how to give us hope and a future. He can turn our story’s ashes into beauty. Granted, He is not writing fairy tales with our lives because He isn’t a fairytale. But He is a KING. And because He is King, there is a Kingdom ending to our stories where the enemy is defeated. It is an ending where God Himself crushes Satan under our feet (Rom. 16:20).
Our Father in Heaven is the Father of all comfort, and with His comfort, we can share our stories to help others. Are we ready to comfort others with our Father’s comfort?
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.