The Wrong Kind of Comfort

We all have gone through some serious life turmoil. If you’ve been keeping up with us, you’ll know that Sarah is very sick. While she is getting better, her energy gets zapped from her each day and we end up getting to the night exhausted. This has been going on for months. We have hope in sight and a course of treatment, but each time a symptom pops up or a pain emerges it knocks the wind out of us. We keep moving forward knowing and believing she will get better.

Doubtless you have gone through similar things in life. They are unavoidable hazards of living. There is no escape, no running or weaseling your way out of it. Trials and trouble that feel like quick sand, that grow up to our chin compressing on our chest as it rises beyond what we can control. It usually isn’t the big explosions that cause the most damage. It’s the after math. It’s enduring through rehabilitation that makes people want to break. When you break your leg and the therapist says, “Give me one more step” and your last step happen three feet ago. When you loose your job and have three kids not knowing where to turn or what to do. We can run ourselves into destructive patterns.

Scared and lonely, we run, starving for something to satisfy what we so desperately need. We’ve go to things in this life that give us pleasure. Food. Company. Vices that tear at our hearts with every second we deem it more worthy than what will really satisfy. Pornography. Drinking. Smoking. Complaining. We wreak havoc on our bodies and minds with these empty pleasures that will mount up to nothing. Drugs. Shopping. Money. Finally we find ourselves, naked and alone, lying on the bottom of the shower allowing the water to compete with our thoughts until one thought replays over and over in our mind like a chipped record, “What am I going to do?”

The more we ask, seek and knock the more we find ourselves at this place. In the midst of what feels like hell there in the back of our mind we remember a hymn, song, verse, lyric, word from a friend. Something that snaps us back from despair and into the arms of something that brings relief like a balm.

There are those of us who know better. We have the way to ask and receive, seek and find, knock and be answered from greatest of all comforts. We have access to the most beautiful and satisfying loving relationship with a friend, partner, and lover that our souls will ever need. This comforter will heal our hearts, satisfy our souls, while bringing us to our knees in total surrender. Jesus. Say it out loud. Jesus. His name is like crisp cinnamon slicing through the brisk fall. The Holy Spirit is the comfort that we all long for. The peace when we need it most, settling our hearts. The glorious Father who brings us into his arms, under the shadow of his wings promising freedom and peace.

Jesus isn’t an escape. He doesn’t kiss your boo boos and make it all better. Most of the time we have to endure the situation we are in. We aren’t free from our situation, but we are free from the permanent destruction it will do to our hearts. James writes a lot about suffering and I will be the first to admit there is no avoiding suffering and strife in this life. But if you heart one thing her this: Only Jesus satisfies.

In the midst of all you’re going through. Panic. Dismay. Terror. Hopelessness. When your heart bangs its head against your chest screaming, longing for something to take the pain and make it go away, friend, I tell you. I you  implore you, I beg. “Set your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of Earth will grow strongly dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

 

Some Practical Ways to Set Your Eyes on Jesus:
Don’t isolate yourself. Get into a safe community where people can care for you soul.
Read the Bible. It is hard when we are going through something but it is a necessity.
Pray. Scripture says that Jesus and the Holy Spirit pray on our behalf, but we need to communicate with the Father as well. When you don’t know what to say,
Listen to the Holy Spirit. Be silent. It will be difficult when the world is screaming but silence gets us close to the heart of the Father.
Be honest. Be honest with yourself, your community and God. Don’t stuff or hide from what you are going through or how you are feeling.
Have positive input. Music and words of encouragement are huge. What goes in comes out.
Remember it will end. When we have our hope in Jesus we must remember that everything will end one day and we will be in perfect union with the Triune God.

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