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Comfort In Hard Times

What a wonderful God we have - he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more he will shower us with his comfort and encouragement. We are in deep trouble for bringing you God's comfort and salvation. But in our trouble God has comforted us - and this, too, to help you: to show you from our personal experience how God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings. He will give you the strength to endure. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 (TLB)

In April 2000, Patricia Vine, from New Jersey, had just gotten home when the phone rang and she heard these words from a doctor in California: "Your daughter has sustained a snowboarding injury. We're sorry to tell you that she will never walk again."

After absorbing the shock of this news, Patricia, her husband, and son boarded the next flight to see her. She had no way of knowing what lay ahead for her. But what Patricia knew in hindsight is this: God comforted them every step of the way during the following months and years. God provided encouragement from a woman in a wheelchair, lodging at the home of parents going through similar circumstances, and compassionate employers who continued to pay Patricia as she stayed and learned, along with her daughter, about the different life she would now lead. Patricia felt God's comfort in all of these details, even during her darkest moments.

Their daughter has gone through many surgeries over the years, and she has persevered and excelled. She has stayed in California and made a life on her own, leading a support group to help comfort others with spinal cord injuries. Praise God for the many forms of encouragement and comfort bestowed on them!

Prayer: Gracious God, give hope to those who sustain life-changing injuries. Thank you that no matter what we experience, you are with us, providing comfort and hope, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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