Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Psalm 25:17
Whenever I’ve gone too long without food, my stomach starts to growl to remind me that it’s empty. My body is putting me on notice that it needs food. Of course, I really don’t need the reminders. Being hungry is an uncomfortable, nagging feeling. So, I usually grab anything to eat so that dreaded feeling will go away. The kind of food isn’t really important. What matters most is that it’ll make me feel better. This made me wonder. When life gets uncomfortable, what’s the first thing we reach for to feel better? To find relief? Maybe it’s people or things? If so, there is another way that offers much more than temporary comfort.
When life leads us into uncomfortable places, we may call someone to talk about our problems, or watch Netflix for hours or reach for our favorite comfort foods. None of those things are wrong, but they all provide temporary relief. They cannot provide the kind of comfort God offers. God desires that we turn to Him as our main source of comfort. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) There is simply no substitute for the Presence of God. “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His Presence continually. “ (1 Chronicles 16:11) One of holiest things we can do is speak the truth – however ugly or uncomfortable – aloud to God. When we give voice to the uncomfortable or painful things we are feeling, something amazing happens. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94:19) There’s just something about acknowledging our burdens in His Presence that eases our pain and provides us with perspective and strength. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 55:22)
It’s natural to desire comfort when we’re in pain or feeling uneasy. But, many times, we unknowingly turn to the world for solace instead of God. If we’re not careful, we will automatically reach out to the world, time and time again, seeking the kind of comfort only God can provide. We risk settling for temporary relief when God desires to do so much more. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20) May God be our first choice when seeking comfort, healing and freedom for our souls.
Prayer: I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. When the storms of life blow my way, help me to turn to your first. You are the source of all comfort. There’s nothing I cannot share with you. Help me to remember that you desire to exchange my burdens for your comfort and rest. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.