“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He 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

I bet you look around you and see folks who “have it all together.” I bet that if you met me in real life, you might even think I have it all together! (Ok, maybe not, but humor me here.) You look at the people in the pulpit, on the stage, and even the greeters in the hallway with the big smiles on their faces and think, “Man, I bet they didn’t have to pull hen’s teeth to get their kids out the door this morning!”

Newsflash: They probably did. Or, they had a “discussion” with their spouse on the way in. Or, they had to mitigate a fight between their parents. Again. Or, they had to figure out which bill was getting paid this week, and which one would just have to wait until later. Don’t these bill collectors know you can’t get blood from a turnip?

But if the people you see around you aren’t transparent, how will YOU ever know they had to go through something just to make it to their pew today? If the people on stage don’t let you know that they’ve gone through the valley, how will you know that God can get you through too?

I’m not suggesting we tell all our business to everyone we meet. I am suggesting that the Bible clearly says that God brings us through trials so that we can reach back and help others. But if we pretend like we have it together all the time and never HAD any trials, how is that glorifying God and redeeming our struggles? How are those around us supposed to come to us for prayer, or point to us in faith, if they don’t know what we’ve been brought out of?

I know you’ve been through some mess. Because I have, too. And so have your pastor, and the praise team member, and the pianist, and the smiling face in the parking lot. And God has brought us all through it (or is still bringing us through). So ask Him who you need to share with today. And if you’re in the middle of it, ask Him to show you who will be that understanding shoulder or that monument of faith. Let the God of all comfort bring some comfort in or through you.

Can people see right through you?