By Cyndi Word

They had plans. She was going to work a few more years to combat what the economy had done to their savings. Then they would head to their second home, the one they had waiting for their retirement and those “golden years.” But plans can change in an instant and tragedy refuses to abide by our timeline. She came home from work and found him in the den. Her first love, the one she had known since she was a teenager, was gone.  Her world stopped spinning and her heart was torn in two as his no longer beat.

Now she wonders… how can everyone act as if nothing has happened? How can holiday decorations and Christmas lights shine as darkness has filled her corner of the world?

She looked at me, eyes pleading and asked, “How do you keep going when the one you love has left you?” I felt I had no answers, the circumstances are different between death and divorce and I could only imagine her pain that her best friend of 50 years was gone. I blew it, walked away feeling like I had let her and God down by my lack of response. The conversation weighed heavily on my mind and the next day I asked for a second chance at answering her questions.  I shared my story, the way I sought out my God as never before and sought out others who had felt the same pain, who could truly understand.

It is why we are here. It’s the best thing that comes from our pain, the ability to help another deal with their own anguish. God has given us the gift of companionship and until we are finally in His arms, we have to put our arms around one another.

The holidays are upon us and for most of us it will be a time of celebrating, for love and family and joy. But some are hurting and those of us who know the Comforter are called to be instruments of that comfort to the lonely, the widowed, the orphaned, and the heartbroken

Paul challenges us in 2 Corinthians 1: 3&4:   

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of     compassion and the God of all comfort,  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 busy time of year, but will you take the time to look around you? 

To see, really see, the people in your sphere of influence who have been wounded by life and circumstances? And will you come alongside them and lend strength to help them through?

Prayer: Father, thank you for the gift of Christmas. Thank you for your precious Son and the hope and comfort He brings to our lives. We pray that you open our eyes to those around us who are hurting. Empower us to share your love and comfort with them. Burden us and break our hearts, Lord, that we would be willing to be instruments of your love and compassion. Amen.

"I Am With You" by Amy Grant and Nichole Nordeman. A beautiful song to accompany this devotional. Be blessed.