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
We all go through periods of dark days. I remember slipping into the bathroom for a good cry one mother’s day. I had been married nine years without children and it was a challenge to see all the other mothers being recognized and everyone’s families around me growing. When I arrived at the bathroom there were already about half a dozen women there, all having a hard time for a variety of reasons on what should be a celebratory day. I am often still torn about my emotions of that day.
If you’ve followed my blog, you know how much I talk about finding joy and peace. In our times of joy and celebration, sometimes it seems we either forget those who are struggling or we over compensate and draw too much attention to those who are in need of comfort, where it may feel we are encouraging martyrs or victims.
While I still struggle with this balance, I have found peace in realizing that God’s comfort should be the central focus of our empathy. We also need to recognize that these are seasons, a time to mourn. But then there needs to be a time to celebrate, so that we are not overcome with doubt and darkness and we can mourn as those who have hope (I Thessalonians 4:13).
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. —Romans 8:18
While working at an alternative school, Dr. Beth Ackerman completed her Master’s degree in special education at Lynchburg College and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Virginia. She is currently an associate dean in the School of Education at Liberty University. She has developed a love of sharing what God has laid on her heart over the years as a follower of Christ, a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and educator.