I had traveled extensively in Israel, searching for the community - many of them are collective communities called "kibbutzim" - where I would be loved. However, I had sampled many without finding what I was looking for. Why not? They were all populated by people like me, each looking to receive love in one form or another. Some of us want to be heard, others comforted, still others appreciated.
We all have needs crying out to be satisfied. How seldom do we meet others who just want to give, who are just looking for those whose needs they can unselfishly fill.
Why are givers so rare? The Bible gives us many answers:
· "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. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
I am convinced that before we can truly comfort others, we first need to experience the comfort of God. This implies that we first must suffer. This is a pre-condition for receiving the comfort of God. He just doesn't waste His comforts on those who don't want it.
How does He comfort us? He convinces us that, even though we don't deserve the slightest smile from Him, He is ready to give us the world. This includes everything - His love, forgiveness, and even Himself.
When we are convinced how richly endowed we are by Him, we become secure enough in ourselves to reach out to others. With what? With the assurances He has given us!
Consequently, we are no longer looking to take but to give. What a privilege!