Recently the weather has been so piercingly cold that coming inside into a warm environment has seemed especially wonderful. It has highlighted to me just how much I like being ‘comfortable’. Maybe I’m not alone.
It seems that many of us have a desire to get comfortable. Physically we crave warmth, comfy clothes, satisfied tummy, safe homely surroundings and financial security. The trouble is that these desires can also cause us to resist any movement from that very comfortable place. I’ve often thought “I ought to go for a walk but I’m too comfortable on my sofa and it’s cold out there!” In our humanity we seek something that seems to bring immediate comfort, like a warm fluffy towel after a bath. It seems to meet our need of the moment. But it’s a comfort that can lead to resistance to change and stagnation.
So, is this what God is asking us to give to His people? No. It’s not. God’s comfort is quite different. Psalm 23 says that ‘Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me’. A rod and a staff are definitely not like a fluffy towel. They seem much less comforting, in a human sense! However God’s comfort is different. The shepherd uses his rod and staff to guide his sheep and to pull them back from places of danger, when they’ve wandered off the path. In the same way our Heavenly Shepherd uses His truth to guide us and to convict us, bringing us back on to His safe road.
So what gives true comfort? True comfort comes from the compassion and security of God’s truth, which convicts us when necessary, and steers our lives. It’s a comfort that never leads to stagnation, but leads to resolution of pain, and ability to move forward in strength into our destiny.
Next time you feel you need a little comfort perhaps you could think about which type of comfort you really should be seeking. You can choose the ‘fluffy towel’ sort or the ‘rod and staff’ sort. You decide!
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, in reality I often crave comfort when I feel hurt and I’m in pain. I so easily turn to the human idea of ‘immediate’ comfort. Please help me to resist the comfort which is carnal and self-focussed, and will lead to stagnation and resistance to change. I desire to choose the ‘true’ comfort which I find in Your truth, which is life giving. Thank You that Your truth will bring peace to my troubled heart, and strength for my future life. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
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