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 Cor. 1:3-4 (NIV)

Perfect Father—for that is who you are, thank you for speaking to us in this passage. By our sufferings, you intend to gentle us, not harden us; increase our compassion, not intensify our confusion; free us to enter the pain of our friends, not drive us into a closet of self-pity.

You are our “Father of mercies,” not misery. Of course you’ll give us more than we can handle. It’s one of the ways you rescue us from us; and draw us into deeper fellowship with Jesus, make us more human and humane, and make the hope of heaven more precious to us.

You’re not punishing us, you’re making us like Jesus. In our most Gospel-sane moments, that’s what we really want. You’ll always be “the God of all comfort” to us. Whatever our affliction(s), you promise us sufficient grace, no Christ-absent days, and a peace not tied to circumstances or easy answers.

Thank you, Father, for we don’t want to squander the rest of our days on “building bigger barns,” when we can have a bigger heart for you and others. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ gentle and glorious name.