We have discussed this a great many times on this blog, but I love Bible translations. I don’t think you can read Scripture in too many ways. The more words used to convey what the Bible is saying, the closer we come to understanding the fullness of what is said. Today, I discovered a new perfect example.
My reading today was the first chapter of 2 Corinthians and beginning in verse three, I read words in The Passion Translation that I know I have heard before. Today though, for some reason, the words used in this translation shot straight through all the muck and mire of this world and directly into my heart concerning this idea we have of suffering.
As 2020 began, a lot of people posted a collage on their social media with their top nine pictures of the last decade; their defining moments if you will. One day I was shocked to realize that if I were to make such a collage, it would just be pictures of people I love who died between 2009 and 2019 and I would actually have an extra picture. Ten people in ten years. That’s too many for me. I quite often struggle with the idea of having suffered so much in my life, condense it to a ten year span and it seems truly unbearable!
*This is me acknowledging that many people have experienced things far worse in that same span of time. But I have always believed that my worst is the same to my life as your worst is to yours. Comparison is crushing when you use it to invalidate your emotions and experiences.
All of this information should clarify why 2 Corinthians 1:3 caught me so off guard today.
“All praises to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort.“
God. Of endless comfort.
I’ve looked at other translations and they all say the same thing but they use less powerful modifiers for comfort like “all”. Well, I do not believe I have experienced “all” the suffering there is. But I can assure you that when I am in my deepest moments of self-pity, I am certainly convinced I am living a life of endless suffering. And the question we quite often hear is, “Where is God in all of this?”
Well…turns out He is right there. Because no matter how endless your pain and suffering are, His comfort goes one step farther every. Single. Time.
So I don’t know where you are in your experience of suffering. Maybe you feel like you’re beginning a season of pain, or maybe you feel like yours just ended, and maybe you find yourself in a place where you don’t believe it will ever end. I want to encourage you today.
Ours is a God of endless comfort. He holds your comfort in every situation and He never leaves your side.
So cry when you need to.
He catches every tear.
Lie down when you can’t go on.
He will nurse you back to health.
Move when you’re able.
He will hold you up.
One day, we will run out of pain.
But He will never run out of comfort.