When the world has us feeling tired and worn down, we often seek an escape in what’s comfortable. Maybe it’s a particular type of music, a favorite movie, a hot bath/shower, or curling up in a blanket on the couch. Typically, though, when we’re looking for comfort, we go looking for what’s known as “comfort food”.
A family recipe or a dish from a favorite restaurant is what we usually go after. Living down here in the South, the term takes on a whole new meaning. They take their “Southern Comfort Food” pretty serious.
A few years back, I was in a men’s Bible study and heard another guy talk about finding his comfort in God. He said it was kinda weird at first, but that after some practice, he was naturally turning to God when he was feeling battered and tired. He also said that going to God first helped him rest and recharge faster than the other things he had been previously seeking out for comfort.
To be honest, it sounded a little weird to hear him talk about it. I had my suspicions that it was just “Christian talk” as opposed to real practice (we wouldn’t say that out-loud, right?). But really, I think my skeptical thoughts were more out of a deeper concern that he had figured out something that I hadn’t yet.
But maybe he had.
When Paul was writing to a group of believers in the sin-saturated city of Corinth, he acknowledged their difficulties and pointed them toward finding their comfort in God. However, he also gave them perspective on why God allows us to have afflictions in the first place:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Notice that God will comfort us in ALL our trials. That’s a great promise! In addition, as we learn to lean into God for comfort, we are also learning how to comfort others in their afflictions. While our afflictions and difficult seasons can be all-consuming in the moment, God sees them as the vehicle to demonstrate His love and comfort to others.
I find it interesting, too, that while He comforts us in ALL our affliction, we will then be able to comfort those who are in ANY kind of affliction. We don’t have to have traveled through the exact situation someone else is going through in order to provide care and comfort.
I fully admit, this is a concept that I am still learning. But maybe that’s why I’ve had the health issues that I’ve dealt with and are still dealing with. God is teaching me to lean into Him, to find my comfort in Him. At some point in the future, I can expect to share comfort with someone else, the same kind of care and compassion that I have received from God.