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Yesterday's devotion in "Our Daily Bread" states:

"Many times we don't know how to respond when others are grieving and words may do more harm than good. Serving others requires that we understand them and find out what they need. Often we can help by meeting practical needs. But one of the best ways to encourage those who are suffering is to be near - to sit beside them and listen.

God is near to us when we call out to him.

By putting ourselves in the shoes of others and allowing our hearts to feel compassion, we can help those who are hurting. We can be near them as God is with us and set close to them. At the right time, the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say, if they are needed."

Sunday, one of the scriptures that was read is:

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4. This has always given me insight into what purpose I might glean from having lost my husband.

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This hits home with me today. A coworker recently lost her husband and I was able to comfort her twice this week. It actually helped me to feel useful and for that I give all credit to God, not myself. I didn't prepare myself on what to say or not say, but He provided the right words and touch.

Today I started to read "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death" and I stopped. I had never considered once what that actually meant until today. Yes, it's a valley, and death casts a very large shadow. It struck me that yes, He understands and comforts us, just as He said.

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