“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. The passage of the bible quoted is one of my favorites. It reminds me that God helps me so I can help others through similar situations. In this case, it can be inferred that: “Comfort is a baton.”
In the heat of a challenging situation, we wrestle with varying emotions. Fear, doubt, guilt, and inadequacy are just a few of them. However, after we have overcome the challenges, it is difficult to feel the same emotions. For example, consider a student preparing for his final year project defense, the tension can be quite overwhelming. Yet, a couple of years down the line, a recollection of the event might not evoke the same emotion. When he is asked by a current final year student about the project defense process, he might just give a casual response. “Don’t worry jare. It will be fine. It’s nothing serious.”
One thing I try to do in my interactions is to acknowledge people’s emotions. To empathize with them. To allow them know that their concerns are valid. How you may ask? For those who are going through a situation that I have passed through, I try to remember how I felt in the heat of the situation; how worried I was while preparing for the test; how I couldn’t sleep before the exam; how I cried when faced with worrying situations. Remembering these things help me in my interactions with them.
For example, I remember when I was in Primary 5 at Mate Nursery and Primary School, Lagos, Nigeria. The new session brought fears and worries for me. I wondered if I would be able to cope. There was a teacher, Mr. Edike, who believed so much in me. He gave me a nickname and made it clear that I was there to stay. This simple action of his encouraged me and helped me to succeed. So, when I see people who are struggling similarly, I try to help them as I also have been helped.
Additionally, referencing the scriptures quoted below:
“For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” – Hebrews 2:18
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses…” -Hebrews 4:15,
I am glad to state that the example which I follow was set by Christ, who suffered as we did, and as such, helps us through hard times. It is also influenced by the amazing people who have helped me through difficult situations. Those who prayed for me; those who corrected me; those who held my hands in difficult moments. They gave me the baton, and I intend to pass it on to others. So help me, God.
Can you share an example of a time when someone was there for you through a difficult situation? How do you intend to pass it on to others?
P.S: Written for Perspectives by Iremide Akinsola