Storm Chaser • Devotion #3: Empathy
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor
I am fascinated by the movie “Twister.” A group of storm chasers rushes after tornadoes in hopes of studying how they work and get a better idea of how to predict them in order to save lives. The idea of driving a vehicle quickly up one road and down another while trying to follow an unpredictable storm and facing risk of injury or death, well, it is quite exhilarating and gets the adrenaline flowing.
Sometimes in life, we are storm chasers. We run into the storm head on. More often, though, we are trying to run the other way, away from the storm. However, there is a lot to be learned from facing the trial, going through the trial, and coming out on the other side. We have that experience and can now empathize with others in the same or similar situation. I have had many life experiences that I can share with others in the same situation. They know I have been there, done that, and I truly know the pain they are feeling. There are many life experiences I have not experienced that others have. God makes us all unique. Just as the Bible tells us that we are each given different spiritual gifts, we are each given different life events to be able to comfort others. 1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “If one member suffers, all suffer together.”
One of the great privileges of friendship is being able to help others through the storm. Sometimes it is sharing how we got through it, or how it changed us. Sometimes it is just listening and not talking. However, for them to know that you have experienced the same situation makes all the difference.
Have you experienced a storm? The loss of a baby? Financial difficulty? Addiction? The list goes on and on. How can you use your experience to help others? Is there a group at church you can mentor through? Is there a friend facing a similar problem that you can meet for coffee? God gave you this experience so you could help others. Just as Jesus suffered during his time on Earth, He was tortured, humiliated, alone, etc., He empathizes with us and knows how we feel in the same situation. He loves us and cares for us through our storm. Just as God comforts us, we need to comfort others around us and help them through their storm.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”