Fellowship of SufferingNew Every Morning | March 2, 2021
My twin sister, Marilyn, a pastoral counselor, called the moment after my text appeared on her phone. I heard heartache in her voice, tighter than usual, when she told me I’m entering “the fellowship of suffering.” This is the crazy, upside-down idea that through suffering we identify with the suffering of others and can be there to comfort one another as God comforts us. Not a club I’d choose to join but a circle of intimacy with those who understand the struggle.
—Jan Woodard, Texting Through Cancer: Ordinary Moments of Community, Love, and Healing (Upper Room Books, 2021)
How has suffering enabled you to experience God’s comfort and to comfort others who suffer? Join the conversation.
For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.
—2 Corinthians 1:5 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God of All,
In you I trust.
All will be well.
All will be well.
All will be well. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Connect people to God in their own language. Give to the International Editions of The Upper Room to help expand the global reach of the daily devotional guide.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
I know I feel deeply the hurting of others and wish to comfort them. I thought this was just a gift from God, but maybe it stems from his comforting me first. I will try to access this comforting as I could use it now.
I see the lawyer tomorrow to prepare for Thursday. I know h’s lawyer’s is known for being underhanded and so far I have seen this. My lawyer received the deposition information over the weekend which gives her and I less than a week to prepare while she sent h’s lawyer the information regarding his several weeks ago. I am nervous and having trouble sleeping. I am also having to juggle the cats’ food bowls as Baggy now has to have special urinary health food and Beast does not understand why he has to eat in a different location.
Prayers for Ally and David, may David benefit from his time in rehab and may Ally rest while relieved of his daily care.
Prayers for Jill and her tennis partner, may they enjoy their time away and have success in their matches.
Prayers for Lou and her family as they continue to connect via social media.
Prayers for Robert, my worry grows with each day, may he comment soon Lord. Please be with him Lord and keep him safe and well.
I will need to look into getting this book. It seems as though it could be written by any number of people in my cancer support groups. Yes, the fellowship of suffering – a cup we would never request. Yet, an essential cup in deepening in empathy for others, as well as closer relationship with the Lord. I believe wholeheartedly when a group member staunchly states they wouldn’t trade their cancer for anything, for through it all, they are now so much closer to their Saviour. One lady says she prays that God will grace her with a new battle with cancer, if it means she will know Him even more deeply. What a radical, trusting prayer.
Beautiful sunshine today, I will have to look under my mailbox to see if there is any crocus action.
I return to the school building next Thursday. I was in yesterday tending to treasurer stuff. It should be so very different – coming back for these last 10 weeks.
My sister and I talked yesterday and she is noticing dad’s down demeanor as well. I am going with him to the cardiologist Thursday morning. If he gets a good report – I told her to try to talk him into flying down early. There would be no “change fee” for his airline ticket – and a change of scenery is well warranted at this point. He has my mother’s voice ringing in his ears “don’t overstay your welcome”. Only my mother’s voice, never ever has that come out of my sister’s mouth – nor does she feel it. He pals around good with her husband. We will see…