I’m a “fixer”. It’s something I have struggled with all my life. If something is wrong or broken I have to try and fix it. My parents used to call me the “problem solver” of the family. Not because I actually solved the problems but because I was always attempting to.
I’m filled with this urgent feeling to fix everything. But when I can’t I am forced to deal with an inner turmoil. But the inner turmoil isn’t something I can fix either; therefore it’s just a vicious circle underlying with feelings of failure. Naturally… this is discouraging. So I run. I run from the situation. I pretend it isn’t there. And once again, naturally… this can be an issue.
I didn’t become aware of this until recently when I found myself running from people. People I love. People who are sick. People who are heartbroken. People who are hurting. People who I can’t “fix”. I can’t help them. And honestly, I don’t know how to cope with that.
It turns out 2 Corinthians holds something very valuable for me.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
It turns out that maybe I can’t fix all the problems. But you know what? I can comfort. I have a Father of COMPASSION, the God of COMFORT. I know him, and I know what he has done for me. He died on the cross for my sins, HE WAS MY SIN OFFERING!!! That is the most compassionate thing anyone will EVER do for me. And I find comfort in Christ’s sacrifice. This passage helps me understand that because I have comfort in him I can help comfort others. Will there be struggles? Yes. Will we suffer? Yes. But we will have comfort.
Not only can I comfort but I can intercede. Too many times I have forgotten I have the ability to intercede and pray for others. Especially the hurt, the heartbroken, the people I love who I cannot help. I forget that.
Continuing with that passage…
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
Even Paul who was in despair knew that God would deliver him; he knew that he could not rely on himself but must rely on God. He set his hope on God! Just like we must set our hope on God and encourage others to set their hope on him as well! But it is not just that… Notice how he knew their prayers for him helped! He was grateful that they interceded on his behalf. And he knew that God had heard their prayers for his struggles.
My challenge is this: If you have “fixeritis” you will know we are not called to fix it all the time. But we are called to be there, to tell others of the comfort we have in Jesus Christ. Remember we can help. God will hear our prayers for them. Don’t let yourself forget you have the power of intercession. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by the inability to problem solve all the hurt in this world but be encouraged by the power of God and the sacrifice of Jesus that remind us these troubles are temporary and our despair is not eternal.