Have you ever wondered if your story could help someone else? Consider this precious story…
A store owner was tacking a sign in his store window, which read PUPPIES FOR SALE, when a little boy appeared.
“How much are you selling the puppies for?” he asked.
The man told the lad he didn’t expect to let any of them go for less than $50.
The boy reached in his pocket, pulled out some change, looked up at the storeowner and said, “I have two dollars and thirty-seven cents. Can I look at them?”
The store owner smiled and whistled. From the kennel, a dog named Lady came running down the aisle, followed by five tiny balls of fur. One puppy lagged behind. Immediately, the little boy asked about the limping puppy.
“What’s wrong with that doggie?”
“The veterinarian told us the dog is missing a hip socket,” said the storeowner. “He’ll always limp like that.”
“That’s the one I want to buy,” the lad said quickly.
The store owner replied, “No, you don’t want to buy that dog. If you really want him, I’ll just give him to you.”
The boy came close to the store owner’s face and said angrily, “I don’t want you to just give him to me. That doggie is worth just as much as all the other puppies and I’ll pay the full price. In fact, I’ll give you $2.37 now and $.50 a month until I have him paid for!”
The store owner replied, “No, no, no. You don’t want that dog. He’s never going to be able to run and jump and play like the other dogs.”
In response, the little boy pulled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted left leg, supported by two steel braces.
“Well, sir,” he said, “I don’t run so well myself and that puppy will need someone who understands.” (Story from Puppies for Sale and Other Inspirational Tales by Dan Clark)
In 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).
The Amplified version says verse 4 this way: “Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God (AMPC).
It’s those words “so that” that stop me in my tracks.
God doesn’t comfort us simply to make us comfortable. He comforts us to make us comfort-able…able to comfort other people.
Dear friend, God may very well send someone your way who needs a person who understands. No one can help a woman who is struggling with a wayward teenager like the mother who has welcomed a prodigal home. No one can encourage a woman struggling with depression like the woman who has come out of that same darkness and into the light. No one can help a woman struggling with the pain of a shameful past like the woman who has exchanged her tattered sackcloth for a princess’s robe.
That’s why your story matters.
The parts of my story I used to wish had been edited out have become the ones God has highlighted as His most amazing work in my life—especially helping others know they are not alone.
Have you gone through something that makes you comfort-able? If so, I encourage you to encourage someone today. Leave a comment and tell what the title of what story might be.
Lord, thank You for being the God of all comfort who has comforted me time and time again. This week, show me someone who needs to know the comfort that You have given me. Help me not be ashamed to tell about the struggles I have had in my own life, but to be an encouragement to someone who needs to know there is hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What is one part of your story that God wants you to use to help other people? Leave a comment and let’s share.
What if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories? I know that they can!
Check out Sharon’s book to see how the pages you’d like to tear out of your story could become the ones that God uses the most. If you feel stuck in a bad chapter, this book will help you move forward in freedom and victory! Includes a Bible study guide. Click here for your copy of When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories.