UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

October 2003 Monthly Letter

Dear Partner In Ministry,

“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 afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, wtih the comfort witih which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3–4

Recently I literally saw this verse come alive!

It was during the women’s session of a Weekend attended by 86 women.

I had just finished teaching on Colossians 2:13 that "God makes us alive to forgive others" just as He forgives us!

On a small post-it note, the women wrote the name or description of a person they desired to forgive from some past affliction.

Afterwards, they trekked outside to a swallow hole in the ground. One by one, each woman lingered, whispered a prayer, and dropped the crumpled paper into the hole.

Nearby I stood praying: "Lord, make each alive to forgive and comfort each in whatever affliction she may have."

Karen, a petite, white haired woman, paused by the pit, hesitantly dropped her paper, backed away and began to weep uncontrollably. Another woman quickly came to her side, embraced her, comforted her, and wept affectionately with her. I joined them and wept with them.

Without composing herself, Karen, in broken sentences blurted out, "I just forgave-the killer-of my daughter-who 33 years ago-brutally murdered her! It is unsolved. God gave me the strength-to forgive a person-whose name I don't know-whose face I've never seen!"

Soon afterwards, Anna Mae stepped up, repeated the same "pit" procedure, and was comforted this time by two women. I responded similarly as with Karen.

Through sobs, Anna Mae sputtered, "I finally forgave her! Thirteen years ago a woman shot and killed my son! Today, God allowed me to release her and the anger I've had toward her!"

I escorted her to Karen and said, "You two have something tragic in common." After they shared their horrendous history, I went on to say, "Your Heavenly Father empathizes with each of you. He, too, had a grown offspring murdered!" They both replied, "That's right. I've never thought of Jesus' death in that way before!" Frankly, neither had I.

The above Scripture was fulfilled. God was comforting them. They were comforting one another with the same comfort they themselves were being comforted! What an amazing sight to behold! Karen said, "Together we can get past the hatred we have felt for 13 and 33 years!"

Our God is an empathizing, comforting God. May you and I experience Him in these ways in our own times of affliction so we may comfort others in their times, too!

Your support of this Ministry brings God's upbuilding comfort to those in affliction. Thank you! !


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