He (God) comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (MSG)


We who live with illness and disability will be able to relate to the sentiments the apostle Paul expressed in the above. Through our own experience with needs for compassion we have learned how to have compassion for those who suffer as we do.

I’ve been thinking lately about peer support groups like Living Room where the facilitators are, out of love and compassion, giving themselves to work for the care and support of those who suffer as they do. Despite their own struggles God helps these supporters reach beyond themselves – giving, and in turn  receiving.

The hunger for God is great among those in need, and that is especially true for those living with mental health problems. I know it is. I’ve seen it. I’m one for whom this is true, well remembering what it was to be mentally ill without God in my life.

As part of their work, group facilitators help fill such needs by showing who God is and what he can offer. They share the love God has poured into them with those they serve. They pass on the love of godly friends surrounding them – those who support them as they, in turn, support those under their care.

Have you heard God call you to support those who suffer as you do? Have you wondered whether it’s right for you?

God looks for a heart filled with his love for others. He looks for a heart that’s filled with a love for Jesus and gratitude for what he’s done. He looks for a person who’s willing and eager to serve – one who is able to “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort [they themselves] receive from God.” (vs 4)

To such a heart God has been known to bring the greatest kind of joy – the joy that comes from sharing his love with those who need him.



NOTE: If you are interested in hearing more about Living Room, check out http://marjabergen.com/archives/category/living-room. But don’t try to read it all. Just click the link and scroll to what you might be interested in.