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2 Corinthians 1:4

Christ Is Sufficient

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:4

God allows His children to experience sorrow and suffering that they may be better able to comfort others who are going through deep waters. Today I received a letter from a dear Christian friend, Commissioner John Needham of the Salvation Army. It brought to mind an incident that occurred in the central territory where he has been serving.

One day Commissioner Booth-Tucker was preaching in Chicago when a man stepped out of the crowd and said to him before the entire audience, “Booth-Tucker, you can talk about how Christ is dear to you; but if your wife were dead, as my wife is, and you had babies crying for their mother, you couldn’t say what you are saying.”

A few days later, Booth-Tucker lost his lovely wife in a tragic train accident. Her body was returned to Chicago for the funeral. As the service concluded, the husband took his place by the casket and said, “The other day when I was preaching in this city, a man said that if my wife were dead and my children were crying for their mother, I couldn’t say Christ was sufficient. If that man is here, I tell him that Christ is sufficient! My heart is crushed, bleeding, and broken. But there is a song in my heart, and Christ put it there. The Savior speaks comfort to me today.” The man was present, and on hearing that, he came down the aisle to surrender his life to the Lord.

Are you going through troubled waters today? Just as the Savior is now sustaining you, He will enable you to make known His grace and love to others who need comfort in their trials. - P.R.V.

Our Daily Bread, Sunday, November 30

One Sufferer to Another

Douglas Maurer, 15, of Creve Coeur, Missouri, had been feeling bad for several days. His temperature was ranging between 103 and 105 degrees, and he was suffering from severe flu-like symptoms. Finally, his mother took him to the hospital in St. Louis. Douglas Maurer was diagnosed as having leukemia. The doctors told him in frank terms about his disease. They said that for the next three years, he would have to undergo chemotherapy. They didn’t sugarcoat the side effects. They told Douglas he would go bald and that his body would most likely bloat.

Upon learning this, he went into a deep depression. His aunt called a floral shop to send Douglas an arrangement of flowers. She told the clerk that it was for her teenage nephew who has leukemia. When the flowers arrived at the hospital, they were beautiful. Douglas read the card from his aunt. Then he saw a second card. It said: “Douglas—I took your order. I work at Brix florist. I had leukemia when I was 7 years old. I’m 22 years old now. Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Sincerely, Laura Bradley.” His face lit up.

He said, “Oh!” It’s funny: Douglas Maurer was in a hospital filled with millions of dollars of the most sophisticated medical equipment. He was being treated by expert doctors and nurses with medical training totaling in the hundreds of years. But it was a salesclerk in a flower shop, a woman making $170 a week, who—by taking the time to care, and by being willing to go with what her heart told her to do—gave Douglas hope and the will to carry on.

Bob Greene, “From One Sufferer To Another, Chicago Tribune, Aug., 1987

Crouzon’s Disease

Many years ago I read an article about Ian Munro, a plastic surgeon at the University of Toronto. At that time, he was one of the few doctors in the world who took apart and then rebuilt the skulls of infants who had Crouzon’s disease. The head of a child who suffers from this condition becomes so misshapen that the extreme pressure put on the brain can cause mental retardation. Dr. Munro devised an operation in which as much as 90 percent of the skull and facial bones are broken in order to reshape the skull. What motivated Dr. Munro to pioneer in such a highly specialized field? His own child is mentally deficient as a result of Crouzon’s disease. This created in that father’s heart deep sympathy for those who suffer from the same condition.

H.G.B., Our Daily Bread, 3-15-91