The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. No, I am not talking about an old western featuring famous cowboys facing off each other surviving the rugged wild west; but I am talking about facing another wild and rugged place... I call it LIFE.
I am sure you can relate. There are good days, bad days, and just right out ugly days of life.Lately, it has seemed more of the good. Some days are bad, but the ugly isn't too far in my tracks and I am sure I will revisit another ugly day soon enough. If only it were so easy to pick up a weapon and shoot the ugly to death!
As I opened my Bible this morning, I opened it to 2 Corinthians 2: 2-11. Paul is praising the God of all comfort. He also is telling us why we see some of those ugly days. "...so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
Ouch! Let me be just plain out honest with you. Let me share the bad and ugly about me. Lately, I haven't been the best on comforting with the same comfort I have received from God. I've been a pit testy, impatient, and at times, maybe even a bit annoyed with several individuals around me who just seem to be going through battles and can't pull out. HOW DARE I!
I have had my ugly days! I have annoyed the snot out of my family and best friends with all my whining and frustrations over the ugly days of my life... and believe me, I have had some UGLY days! Looking back, I am lucky to even have friends after all the abuse I put them through with my struggles and inability to deal with the bad days I faced. But God.....
I love verses 5-7.
"For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 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. 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."
You see. My friends and family who shared in my suffering, are also sharing in my comfort and are the reason that my days now lean more on the side of good rather than bad. And the reason, because they shared the abundant comfort of Christ. How dare I not want to continue the same heritage to those God has so wonderfully blessed me to be a part of their lives!
Sometimes, we just forget where we have been. We forget how hard it was to feel like no one, including God, knows or even cares we exist. We forget how easy it is to listen to the voice of the enemy when there seems to be no where else to turn. We forget... that we aren't the only humans in the world and just cause we simply have jumped one hurdle, there are some in the race jumping hurdles of their own.
We just become so involved in self! We are so involved in trying to keep the bad away and enjoying the good, we ignore the fact the ugly can pop up in a moments notice and the individual who we are comforting in their ugly situation now, may be the very one God intends to use to comfort us in our ugly situation in the future.
Suffering isn't easy for anyone. Suffering along side someone isn't easy either. It is hard to watch the ones we love push the ugly out of their life, overcome the bad. Let's now forget the ultimate example of suffering. Christ not only suffers with us, but for us as well. And why? So that we can walk into the good. His love and perfect plan for our life... which sometimes means facing our own ugly so that one day we have the honor of comforting someone who needs us to hold their hand and be patient as they pull themselves up and get back into the journey of hope.
On a personal note, to those I have been less than patient with... please forgive me. I love you and want to see you walk in the good I KNOW God has planned for you.