huggingIn the book “Derailed” by Neta and Dave Jackson the question was asked: “Why do we go through trials?” The pastor in the story referenced: II Corinthians 1: 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.”

It is a passage many of us have heard before. It is one that I need to hear often. It is one that seemed to be directed at me. In 2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Between us, my husband and I had 7 surgeries that year. Why? What was God’s purpose in that?!

The story in “Derailed” goes on to reveal that what we’re going through can often be meant to teach us something. It can equip us for something we have not previously been prepared for, and for unseen things ahead.

Was my experience meant to help comfort others? Surely. But I didn’t see it at the time. Was it meant to equip me to minister to ladies who’ve been through similar experiences? Probably. I could not know that while still going through that journey. This lesson expanded to another thought. God doesn’t waste anything.

So He uses these terrible situations to teach us and equip us, making us stronger and wiser. If we reach out to others as Christ has comforted us, and we comfort others with these lessons. How does that play out to those who receive these blessings? It’s the gift keeps on giving.

The spirit of God fills us with the desire to reach out, to be more like Jesus. His spirit goes out to those in need; it does not stay dormant within us.

Those we have loved in Jesus’ name will see Him, through us. They’ll see an attitude of faith and joy. They’ll see a God of  compassion. They in turn, can be filled with that same desire to know Him and to love as He has loved. Who can say how far that gift of compassion may go? Imagine it!

me in blueWritten By: April Boyer

April Boyer has published a number of newspaper and magazine articles, devotional studies and poetry, and has contributed to anthologies. She is in the process of co-authoring a biography about her mother, and a writer/artists devotional calendar. “In His Shadow” was published in Oct. 2013 after her cancer treatments concluded . She was inspired to share her experience with other women going through similar circumstances as a way to give them hope and encouragement. April is available for speaking to cancer support groups, women’s groups, as well as through local television and radio interviews.