Bell Let's Talk Day and the God of All Comfort
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.
I have been listening to the little chime on my phone and computer at regular intervals all day today receiving notes, videos, and alerts encouraging me to raise awareness around mental health. Today is 'Bell Let's Talk Day.' I applaud each and every one for doing all that you can to raise awareness and to help remove the stigma of mental illness.
As providence would have it, part of my Bible reading for devotions today came from the above verses about the God of all comfort. I felt it was timely.
You see, all that is being done today to raise awareness and to encourage people to talk about their issues, amazing as that is, won't mean much unless there are people on the other end who have been through some stuff who are willing to talk back.
Paul says that God comforts us in our troubles, "so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." I think that's key. Many of us who have been through stuff have felt God's presence and have benefited from others who have shared with us in our pain and our trial so that we could eventually come out the other side. And Paul says here that the reason God provides comfort for us in this way is so that we can, in turn, provide comfort for someone else in trouble.
I know that this is the spirit of "Bell Let's Talk." So let's not just send text messages and use filters and spam our friends with videos. Let's partner with the God of all comfort. If you know somebody who's going through it and you have some experience with that, then call them up and talk on the phone or go for coffee. Offer some of the comfort that you once received. And pray with them. That, my friends, will make a real difference!