Links Daily Devotional

‘So That’ We May Be Able to Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, ESV)

Recently I had the privilege to be back in the Coachella Valley with several Links Fellowships, both as a speaker and as an attendee. I’m not going to lie; it was such a blessing to be out of frozen Michigan and in the California sun. And with each visit to the desert, I am further amazed at the movement of God’s spirit behind the walls of these country clubs. I left feeling excited, challenged, and convicted.

Excited because Jesus is using Links Players to change lives.

Challenged by Jeffrey Cranford’s message that God has called us to be a blessing, in our communities and to Israel.

Convicted to keep doing what I believe God is calling me to do.

These feelings unfolded in different ways throughout the week, but the pivotal moment happened as I listened to Ginger Gilbert Ravella tell her story at the La Quinta Women’s luncheon. Our stories are different and yet I saw a little of myself in Ginger as she shared her story with such bravery. She concluded by quoting today’s passage, and it landed deeply in my heart.

Ginger is living into Paul’s words as she shares her story of affliction. She has been comforted and is offering this same comfort to others. God gave me the eyes to see and the ears to hear that this is why I am doing what I am doing—sharing my story.

I carried my afflictions of harm, of emotional emptiness, and of hiding behind the mask of performance and Christianity for a long time. I was in full denial. Yes, I had Jesus in my life, and I struggled trusting him with the pain I silenced in the broken places of my heart. I kept comfort at arms length because it felt easier to pretend I was just fine.

God is a gentleman and patiently pursues our hearts. He knocks on the door and waits, never barging in. Comfort came knocking through the kindness of two women and I was ready to crack the door open. Slowly these women helped me name the abuse I suffered, the shame I felt, and the contempt I leaked. Being honest with myself and with my Father of mercies and God of all comfort released my tears and my soul found rest. It took time. It was hard. It was real.

I love the picture Paul is unveiling about how God comforts us in our afflictions. As I listened to Ginger, I connected with the words so that. Ginger is doing the so that. Each time she shares her story, she offers an invitation for comfort to touch another person’s afflictions.

Two days after being with Ginger I too had the opportunity to do the so that, as I spent the day with men and women at Chaparral Country Club. I shared my golf skills and I shared my story where God’s comfort has met me in my afflictions.

Jesus offers us full access to God’s comfort. My hope is that you will welcome his comfort into your afflictions and keep the eyes of your heart open to where God is inviting you to the so that

Tracy Hanson
February 26, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
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