The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, February 13, 2023, was written by Martha J. Morris of Tennessee.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV
GOD OF ALL COMFORT
My first chemotherapy session took 10 hours in a room with about 20 other patients. In addition to the comfort my faith gave me, the kindness the other patients showed me on that first day was a real lesson in the fruit of the Spirit. One woman, Linda, had been fighting cancer for a long time. When a nurse came to explain that her therapy had not been approved and that she would have to come back yet another day, Linda gave the nurse an exhausted smile. With kindness and patience Linda said, “I understand. Things happen.” Linda gathered her blanket and cane, preparing to leave.
As she passed me, something – maybe the fear on my face – led her to come over and give me the bracelet she was wearing. She said, “I hope these two verses from Second Corinthians comfort you as they have me.” While spending time in the hospital, doctors’ offices, treatment centers, operating rooms, and my home, I could look back and see Linda’s face as she gifted me with scripture. Though she had surely suffered much, she took the time to reach out and comfort me. I never saw Linda again, but I felt the need to share her story and the gift of comfort God gave me through her.
Simple acts of kindness and comfort have lasting impacts on their recipients. A small gesture of compassion and encouragement may be all someone needs to help them endure challenging seasons. Martha’s reflection highlights how the simple act of sharing a bracelet gave her the strength she needed to make it through her chemotherapy sessions. You may not have a bracelet to give, but you can give a smile, an encouraging word, or a simple “hello!” As I remind you at the conclusion of every worship service: “You are a blessing from God. Now go and be a blessing.”
Dear Lord, thank you for the people you send to us in our times of need and for the comfort they offer. May we, in turn, be faithful to comfort others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
- Martha J. Morris